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Tuesday, 19 May 1942

Mr SPOONER (Robertson) .- I draw special attention to a point that has received too little emphasis in this debate; in fact, only one honorable gentleman has referred, to it. I am afraid that the honorable member for Lilley (Mr. Jolly) has not grasped fully the fact that under this bill £1 5s. a week is not regarded as- an adequate widow's pension. Taking the various clauses in conjunction, it is clear that the measure contemplates £1 17s. 6d. a week as the minimum income on which a widow can live, and towards- that amount the Commonwealth is prepared to contribute £1 5s. a week. A widow may have an income of 12s. 6d. a week from other sources, but that will not be taken into account in computing the rate of pension payable to her. She may derive her 12s. 6d. a week from rents, contributions from relatives or friends, or in the form of board and lodging which she may receive to that value. The same principle applies to the New South Wales widows' pensions scheme. If a widow in New South Wales has an income from rents of 12s. 6d. a week, and is entitled to receive the State widows' pension, this bill will permit her to receive, in the aggregate, an income of £1 17s. 6d. a week. A widow in Western Australia receiving 12s. 6d. a week from rents is also entitled to a total of £1 17s. 6d. a week. It does not matter to the Commonwealth where the widow in New South Wales obtains her non-pension income.

Question put -

That the words proposed to be added beso added (Mr. Jolly's amendment).

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