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Thursday, 20 April 1961

Mr ROBERTON (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - Perhaps the honorable member was not present when I answered a question addressed to me on this matter a few days ago.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I was, but I did not understand the Minister's answer.

Mr Menzies - He has improved since. Tell him again.

Mr. ROBERTON__Yes. If the honorable member will listen with the intelligence that is available to him, perhaps he will understand that there has been no alteration in the application of the means test with respect to either income or property.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - But the Minister wrote me a letter last week and stated that there had been an alteration.

Mr ROBERTON - It is a fact that the introduction of the merged means test can affect the position of people who qualify and are eligible for pensions and who have both income and property. The pension is then determined on the means as assessed. But where a person has income and no property, the means test is exclusive to the income, and where a person has property and no income, the means test is exclusive to the property. There has been no change in the policy of the Department of Social Services or of the Government in that respect.

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