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Budget



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PRESS RELEASE

THE SENATE

Senator The Hon. V. C. GAR

Leader Democratic Labor Party Phones: Canberra, 705 Ext. 523 Brisbane, 310101 EKt. 436

BUDGET

"The mass of words in the Budget cannot conceal the fact that Australia's defence, with a 5Vo reduction in expenditure, has become a mockery of any worthwhile credible defence program.

"It is no longer a question of whether we should be in South East Asia. The Government has made it abundantly clear that we will not have sufficient strength to have any effective or acceptable presence there.

'iThe Government's attitude to defence will, as it should do, shock the Australian nation, just as it should dismay our friends.

"The increase in Social Service payments s where given, are by no means excessive.

"We again protest the cynical approach which has put the desperate needs of people up to political auction.

"One of the grave gaps in the Budget is the persistant refusal of the Government to even notice the most acute and critical area of poverty - the large family. The failure is both cruel and shortsighted.

"The Government has also failed the very deserving section of the Australian people who have been impoverished by increasing prices and the restrictive Means Test. What concessions the Government has made are done so parsimoniously that they are not even far-sighted enough to include the fringe benefits to those they have helped. They have excluded

these persons completely from any subsidiary, fringe benefits and I deplore such an approach.

"The provision for assistance to Independent Schools is, in principle, and almost totally in amount, the policy of the D.L.F. which advocated this assistance when all other parties opposed it. It is a matter of great satisfaction to the party that our long-sustained advocacy has been successful."

CANBERRA.

12th August, 1969.