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Friday, 3 April 1987
Page: 1817

Senator CHANEY —Is the Leader of the Government in the Senate aware that a study by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research Pty Ltd shows a significant increase in poverty in Australia over the last four years? Is it correct that the study found that there has been an almost one per cent increase in the total number of families living below the updated Henderson poverty line and that for families with four or more children the increase is almost 4 per cent? Is it a fact that larger families have been worst hit because for them the loss of value of family allowance payments has been the most dramatic? Given the Australian Labor Party's constant use of poverty line data to attack the policies of the previous Government, I ask: Are the Minister and the Government concerned about these findings? Can the Hawke Government offer anything to these low income families other than its phoney price watch gimmickry?

Senator BUTTON —The Government is concerned and if it is to offer something it will announce it at an appropriate time.