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Tuesday, 22 May 1973
Page: 2470


Mr Graham (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(1)   How many citizens are (a) men aged 65 years and over and(b) women aged 60 years and over.

(2)   What percentage of existing Social Service pensioners are & receipt of the fringe benefits and concessions.

(3)   If the Means Test was abolished, what would be the cost of givingall eligible people these fringe benefits and concessions.

(4)   What is the latest figure available on the cost to the revenue of Means Test abolition in respect of Social Service pensions.


Mr HAYDEN (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Based on population projections by the Commonwealth Statistician it is estimated that in Australia at April 1973 there were 454,800 men aged 65 years and over and 888,700 women aged 60 years and over who were qualified by residence for an age pension.

(2)   At 27 March 1973, the percentage of existing pensioners who were eligible for one or more of the fringe benefits provided by the Australian Government was as follows:

 

(3)   Adequate data is not available from which to reliably estimate the additional cost of making fringe benefits and concessions available to all eligible people, if the means tests on both pensions and fringe benefits were abolished.

(4)   It is estimated that at the end of April 1973 the additional annual cost of abolishing the means test on age pensions for persons who satisfy the residence qualifications would be of the order of $430m. Adequate data is not available from which to reliably estimate the additional cost of abolishing the means test on invalid and widows' pensions.







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