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Tuesday, 5 May 1987
Page: 2567


Mrs SULLIVAN —My question is directed to the Minister for Social Security. Does his statement of last Friday that the Government will not proceed with its proposal to change the definition of de facto spouse in the Social Security Act mean that the Department of Social Security will continue to determine eligibility of a social security recipient for a spouse benefit in accordance with the 25 November 1985 determination of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, namely to pay spouse benefits in a case where the de facto spouse is under the age of consent?


Mr HURFORD —The Minister for Social Security is unavoidably absent today, and the House will have to behave itself better than normal in order to be able to hear me in my delicate state of health. I am able to tell the honourable member that it is my understanding that the administration will remain the same as it was prior to the Minister's announcement.