Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 4 June 1914


Senator NEEDHAM asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Is the Commonwealth Treasurer, Sir John Forrest, correctly reported in the following paragraph in the Herald, of Monday, 1st June: -

"£1,000,000 FOE BABIES.

ABUSE of Bonus Hinted at: " Over a million has gone in maternity allowances, or baby bonuses, or whatever you like to call them," said the Federal Treasurer to-day, with a return before him showing that up to the present 206,542 applications for the £5 allowance on the birth of a child have been paid by the Federal Treasury, the exact amount being £1,032,710.

Sir JohnForrest said "that in a great many cases the persons who received the money were in a position to pay their own maternity expenses, but they felt that, as the money was available, and taxation was pretty severe, they might as well take it." " I hope," said the Treasurer, " that as time goes on, the public mind will decide that public funds' raised by taxation from all classes of the people should not be given away to those who are well able to pay for themselves, and, moreover, are willing to pay."

2.   What does the Treasurer mean by saying - " That, in a great many cases, the persons who received the money wore in a position to pay their" own maternity expenses, but they felt that, as the money was available, and taxation was pretty severe, they might as well take it"? it. Doeshe mean that these people are in affluent circumstances. and, consequently, should not apply for the maternity allowance?

4.   If so, ishe not aware that the Maternity Allowance Act gives the right to every Australian mother to apply for the allowance on the birth ofher child?

5.   Does Sir John Forrest approve of that provision ?

6.   If he does not, is it the intention of himself or his Government to bring down an amendment of the Maternity Allowance Act, providing thai the allowance shall only be paid in necessitous cases?

7.   If, on the other hand, he means that there has been a fraudulent abuse of the Maternity Allowance Act, will he take steps to have the offenders punished?

8.   If. as the Treasurer is reported to have said, " taxation was pretty, severe," is it his intention to take steps to relieve such " severe taxation " ?

9.   If so, in what direction?







Suggest corrections