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Thursday, 16 May 1985
Page: 2118

(Question No. 170)


Senator Maguire asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 27 March 1985:

(1) Of the income which was declared by (a) pensioners; and (b) beneficiaries, in the 1982-83 and 1983-84 financial years, what proportion was earned and what proportion was unearned income.

(2) For each category of pensions and benefits paid in the 1982-83 and 1983-84 financial years, what proportion of the recipients received a reduced pension or benefit throughout the whole year as a result of the application of the relevant income test.


Senator Grimes —The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(a) The information sought is available only on a point-in-time basis, not for financial years. At June 1984, the proportion of pensioners' declared income represented by earnings was 10.7 per cent. The proportion represented by unearned income was 89.3 per cent. The corresponding figures at June 1983 were 13.2 per cent and 86.8 per cent respectively. The fall in the proportion represented by earnings is largely attributable to the new income test imposed from November 1983 on age pensioners 70 years and over, whose earnings represent a lower proportion of total income than in the case of other pensioners.

(b) Similar figures for beneficiaries are not available.

(2) No figures are available on the proportion of pensioners and beneficiaries who received a reduced payment throughout a whole year. However, the following table shows the proportion of pensioners and beneficiaries receiving a reduced pension or benefit by pension or benefit type at June 1983 and June 1984 (pensioners) and May 1983 and May 1984 (beneficiaries).

PROPORTION OF PENSIONERS AND BENEFICIARIES RECEIVING REDUCED PENSION/BENEFIT BY PENSION/BENEFIT TYPE-JUNE 1983 AND JUNE 1984

June 1983 June 1984 Pension/Benefit Type

per cent per cent

Age pensions 30.2 28.4 Wives and Spouse Carers pensions-Age 24.2 26.9 Invalid pensions 11.0 12.1 Wives and Spouse pensions-Invalid 17.3 18.7 Sheltered Employment Allowances 12.5 13.2 Rehabilitation Allowances (a) 6.3 Widows-

Class A 17.6 19.9 Class B 15.0 15.9 Supporting Parents Benefits-

Female 11.5 13.1 Male 10.9 11.9 Unemployment Benefits (b) 6.1 7.0 Sickness Benefits (b) 7.1 7.5 Special Benefits (b) 4.9 5.6

(a) Data not available

(b) Data relates to May surveys.