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Monday, 17 September 1973
Page: 1118

Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(1)   What is the maximum allowable weekly income, including the pension, of a married age pensioner couple before fringe benefits are withdrawn.

(2)   What is the maximum allowable weekly income of the same couple before the pension is not payable.

(3)   What was the proportion of Australian wage earners who earned less than the amount indicated in answer to (a) part (1) and (b) part (2) during 1971-72.

(4)   How does taxation affect (a) an age pensioner couple without dependants and (b) a wage earner with a dependent wife and 2 dependent children earning the amount indicated in answer to (i) part (1) and (ii) part (2).

MrHayden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   A married couple cease to be eligible for fringe benefits when their combined non-pension income, assuming they have no affecting property, reaches $54.50 a week. With an income of$54.50 a week, a married couple would, at existing rates, each receive a pension of 313.75 a week giving then a combined income of$82 a week.

(2)   Pension ceases to be payable to an age pensioner couple when their combined income, assuming they have no affecting property, reaches $109.50 a week.

(3)   The Treasurer has supplied information relating to wage and salary earners who were taxable for the 1971-72 income year, the latest year for which statistics are available. At 30 June 1972 the income limit at which the pension eligibility ceased in the case of a married couple was $81 a week and that at which a couple ceased to qualify for fringe benefits was $49. With income of $49 a week a couple would have each received a pension of $8 a week giving them a combined income of $65 a week. The information from the Treasurer indicates that of those taxpayers with net incomes below $15,000 per annum whose income was solely from salaries and wages (or salaries and wages together with net property income of less than $400) and whose assessments were dealt with under the computer-assisted assessing process, about 47 per cent had annual incomes equivalent to less than $65 a week, while 63 per cent had annual incomes equivalent to less than $81 a week.

(4)   At income levels equal to the amounts mentioner in 1 and 1 above the following table compares the tax which would be payable at existing rates by an age pensioner couple (assuming that all the income is received by the husband) with that which would be payable by a wage earner with a wife and two dependent children.


As indicated by the Treasurer in his Budget Speech it is proposed to remove the taxation age allowance concession and to tax pensions payable to people of age pension age. When these proposals are implemented the tax liability for an age pensioner couple will differ from that shown.

PricesJustification (Question No. 758)

MrLynch asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

How many companies are not subject to the Prices Justification Act by reason of (a) section 5 and (b) exemptions granted by the Tribunal under section 18.

(2)   What was the total turnover of all companies specifiedin parts (1) (a) and (1) (b) during 1972-73.

(3)   How many companies are not included in parts (1)(a) and (1) (b), and what wasthe total turnover of those companies during 1972-73.

Mr Whitlam - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   (a) Section 5 of the Prices Justification Act sets out the basis on which companies come within the provisions of the Act. The number of companies not subject to the Act is not known.

(b)   Exemptions granted under section 18 of the Act do not have the effect of exempting companies from the whole Act but only from its notification porvisions, Exemptions may be granted either generally or otherwise.

As at 31 August 1973, 480 companies (including subsidiary companies) had been granted such exemptions. Most of these exemptions cover part only of the business of the companies concerned and relate to particular types of sales e.g. competitive tendering, to which the notification provisions cannot readily be applied, or provide a rational basis for dealing with large numbers of items in retail stores. As required by the Act these have been published in Australian Government Gazettes Nos 95, 103, 106, 106d and 106e, 108, 115 and 118 of August 7, 16, 21, 22 (2), 23, 28 and 30.

(2)   and (3) This information is not available.

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