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Friday, 22 February 1985
Page: 96

Senator MESSNER —I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

Leave granted.

Senator MESSNER —In the course of his remarks the Minister for Community Services (Senator Grimes) misrepresented on several occasions statements I made during my speech on this matter of public importance. He referred to remarks that he claimed I made in relation to a total of 150,000 people being affected by the assets test. That totally misrepresented my statements. What I said was that up to 150,000 people are affected by the income test on over 70s, the assets test which the Government has legislated for, and the superannuation tax.

Senator Grimes —Read it in Hansard.

Senator MESSNER —I will, and I trust that the Minister will as well. I seek to make my explanation in order to make that absolutely clear. Of course, the Minister is as slippery as an eel in matters such as this and consequently will misrepresent my position on many occasions, as he already has. I seek to set the record clear, if I can do nothing else to shut him up. I mentioned all those areas in which this Government has taken action over the last two years. At least 55,000 people have already lost their pensions as a result of the income test applying to the over 70s. On the Government's own admission, more than 45,000 people will be affected by the assets test and certainly a greater number will be affected by the superannuation tax.