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Thursday, 9 December 1999
Page: 11615

Senator ALLISON —My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. I refer to the tabling of the Remuneration Tribunal's report on parliamentary salaries this week and to commitments made by the Prime Minister for some time now that parliamentary superannuation will be reviewed once this issue has been dealt with. When will this review begin?

Senator HILL (Environment and Heritage) —I will ask the Prime Minister and get a response.

Senator ALLISON —Madam President, I ask a supplementary question. I refer the minister to the report in 1997 in which the coalition senators said:

. . . change to the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme is desirable. The scheme is now out of step with superannuation practice in the wider community. There is convincing evidence that it is excessively generous to a small group of retiring parliamentarians.

Is the minister aware of the Prime Minister's comment yesterday when he seemed to be suggesting that higher contributions justified a superannuation scheme where the taxpayers pay three to eight times the amount put in by parliamentarians? Is the Prime Minister now backing away from his commitment?

Senator HILL (Environment and Heritage) —The Prime Minister never backs away from a commitment. If you ask me, I do not think it is excessively generous. But you have not asked me. I will refer it to the Prime Minister and I promise the honourable senator an answer by the next question time.