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Wednesday, 19 April 1961

Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Repatriation) - The honorable member for Ballaarat has asked me a question about certain concessions, not directly related to war widows' pensions, which used to be available to certain war widows. The position is this: In the last Budget the pensions and domestic allowances of war widows were quite considerably increased. Before that time, war widows who had no other income were entitled to receive the minimum social service pension which, in itself, entitled them to a concession on television and radio licences and to certain travel concessions given by the State governments. The increases in the last Budget, to which I have referred, have lifted the income of war widows above the maximum amount of income allowable for a social service pension, so the widows are no longer entitled to the concessions mentioned. I have discussed this position with the Postmaster-General and it is clear that the concessional fees for radio and television licences are not available under the existing law. The travel concessions, of course, are entirely the affair of the State governments and cannot be affected by anything that this Government can do.

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