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Tuesday, 16 October 1984
Page: 1700

Senator MESSNER —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting , I shall move:

That the Senate notes that-

(a) figures prepared on the same basis as used by the Minister for Social Security, Senator Grimes, when in Opposition show:

(i) a 7.3 per cent decline in the relative position of age and invalid pensioners and married unemployment beneficiaries' disposable incomes in comparison to the Henderson poverty line,

(ii) a 3.4 per cent decline in the position of widows with one child and a 7.6 per cent decline for supporting parents beneficiaries with one child, and

(iii) a 2.0 per cent decline in the position of single over 18 unemployment beneficiaries with $20 a week other income;

(b) these figures clearly show the Hawke Labor Government's lack of concern for social welfare beneficiaries;

(c) these figures reinforce the results of the 1984-85 Budget which, by granting people on incomes of $700 a week greater increases through a revised tax system than the $2.50 a week given to pensioners and beneficiaries, indicated that this Government, like the trade union movement, is more concerned with the employed than the unemployed;

(d) these figures provide a graphic illustration of the sorts of policies which would flow from a Government led by a man who is reported to have told an Economic Planning Advisory Committee meeting that the unemployed was an irrelevant section of the community; and

condemns the Hawke Labor Government for not living up to its statements and rhetoric when in Opposition.