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Thursday, 6 September 1984
Page: 627


Senator GIETZELT (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)(10.39) —The matters raised by Senator Watson relating to social security payments and taxation have, to some extent, been redressed as a result of the Budget decisions. I do not think they completely eradicate the problem that Senator Watson has raised, but the new categories of tax schedules and the increased rebate which are features of this Budget do reduce the difficulties that Senator Watson has raised. They do not eradicate the difficulty, but they do reduce the incidence. The Minister for Social Security (Senator Grimes) constantly spoke about these matters when he was a shadow Minister and they did have some weight when the Budget was being prepared. But whether the Government is in a position to go all the way along the track to overcome the difficulties of tax payments for those who receive benefits is a Budget consideration.

I believe that the Government is taking some cognisance of the problem in the current Budget. We now have five tax scales instead of the previous three. The rebate that has been given to low income earners is designed to assist in this area. As this question falls within the jurisdiction of the Minister for Social Security and also falls within the province of the Treasurer (Mr Keating)-it relates to taxation-I will see that the matters specifically raised by Senator Watson are drawn to the attention of these Ministers.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 10.41 p.m.