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Friday, 8 May 1942

Mr STACEY (Adelaide) .- Last night I directed the attention of the Minister for Social Services (Mr. Holloway) to the advisability of liberalizing the provision relating to permissible income in order to encourage pensioners to seek employment and thereby relieve the serious labour shortage.. Honorable members are aware that a pensioner is permitted to surrender his pension if he desires to engage in temporary employment. When the job ends, he is obliged to re-apply for the pension, and some persons fear that a long delay may occur before it is renewed. In South Australia the shortage of man-power is acute, but the adoption of my suggestion would assist to relieve it. I refer to munition workers. Hundreds, if not thousands, of men are employed on such operations as polishing and packing - shells, and similar work. Persons I have spoken to seem to fear relinquishing their pensions in case they may not be able to renew them. Why not insert in the bill a provision that would enable pensioners to work for the basic wage less 25s.? There are scores of old men who could do work, apart from munitions work, that young men have done in the past. They ought not to have to drop their pensions. I ask the Minister to give this matter favorable consideration.

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