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Thursday, 9 May 1957

Mr THOMPSON (PORT ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister for Social Services whether, following the recent increase of the federal basic wage by 10s. a week, it is possible to give urgent consideration to an early increase of social services payments. I know that on previous occasions when such questions have been asked the Minister has told us that these are matters of policy and will be considered when the budget is in preparation. However, as it will be some months before the budget comes before us, I should like to know now whether earnest consideration will be given to increasing pension payments earlier than would be the case if the Government were to wait on the production of the budget before doing so, seeing that these payments come out of the National Welfare Fund, and it would not be necessary to impose taxes to meet them immediately, as provision is made to recoup that fund at the end of the year by the amount necessary.

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