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Tuesday, 29 November 1960

Mr Ward (EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) d asked the Minister representing the Minister for Repatriation, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that prior to 2nd October, 1958, a service pension received by an ex-serviceman entering an institution classified as a benevolent home, as defined in the Commonwealth Social Services Act, was paid at the full rate until the 29th day following admission?

2.   Is this pension now reduced to what ls termed the institutional rate as from the first pay day after an ex-serviceman enters such an institution?

3.   If so, why has this change been made?

Dr Donald Cameron (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - I am advised by the Minister for Repatriation that the answers to the honorable member's questions are -

1.   Yes.

2.   Yes.

3.   The relevant provision is found in section 95 of the Repatriation Act which was amended in 1958. It provides that, from the pay day following admission to a benevolent home, a portion of the pension is paid to the pensioner and the balance to the benevolent home towards his upkeep. This change was made to bring the provisions for service pensioners, who were inmates of benevolent institutions, into line with the provisions relating to social service pensioners in the same circumstances. There had been some criticism of this anomaly and on examination it had been found that there were instances where it had led to preference being given in admissions to benevolent homes to social service pensioners over ex-servicemen who were service pensioners.

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