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Friday, 1 June 1984
Page: 2378

Senator CHANEY —I address a question to the Minister for Social Security following the question he was just asked by Senator Coleman. I ask: Has the Minister heard reports of Professor Gruen's attitude to what the Government has done and in particular reports of Professor Gruen's view that the Government has been inept? I ask the Minister whether he accepts those views with the same enthusiasm as he accepts the endorsements of a former Liberal Prime Minister, Sir William McMahon?

Senator GRIMES —Indeed I do. I have read Professor Gruen's Press statement and I heard Professor Gruen make that statement. He said in essence that he would have preferred his number one option and he thought the Government should have adopted it. Because it did not do so, he said the Government was inept. The next words he said were that the Liberal Party is even more inept and less principled . He said:

The position of the Liberals is even less defensible. Those who argue for smaller government and needs based welfare while rejecting concrete administrative moves in that direction deserve to be regarded as supremely opportunistic cynics.

I find those words of Professor Gruen even more appropriate than the words he used about the present Government.