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Labor wrecking the social security system.

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Media Release


Senator Jocelyn Newman

Minister for Family and Community Services

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women


Friday, 26 November 1999


Labor wrecking the social security system


The decision by Labor to reject the revis ed gifting rules in the Senate last night demonstrates its inability to support legislation which improves the integrity of the social security system.


Labor last night rejected the Social Security Amendment (Disposal of Assets) Bill 1999.


“I am astonished that a party which claims it believes in social justice would reject a measure which means that people with reasonable assets cannot give them away rather than use them for self-support and then ask their neighbours to support them through the tax system,” Senator Newman said.


The Bill aimed to stop the current practice whereby some individuals receiving the age pension could gift up to $10,000 a year without it affecting their pension. This amount equates to more than the single age pension.


The Bill proposed a more appropriate figure of $5,000 and was to affect an estimated 3,700 customers in its first year.


“The whole basis of Australia’s social security system is one based on a means test; payments according to need. Labor’s view is to oppose the measure so that people can give away large sums of money and still expect the tax payer to provide them with income support,” Senator Newman said.


“This Government encourages self-reliance. The social security system should be there for people who most need it and cannot support themselves. Something I thought Labor would also have believed in.


“This Government is trying to fix up the mess and loopholes for the wealthy it inherited from Labor.


“I am constantly amazed at Labor’s position on sensible policies and it is obviously opposing legislation to make up for its own lack of policies,” Senator Newman said.



Simon Bush 02 6277 7560 or 0407 780 509



rw  1999-11-29  12:02