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Indexation of family payments

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Minister for Social Security0 Brian Howe MP BLH 68/89 *OCTOBER 29 1989 INDEXATION OF FAMILY PAYMENTS .The Minister for Social Security, Brian Howe, today called on the Opposition to come clean on its plans for indexation of family payments."Once again it has been revealed that different members of the Opposition have different versions of their plans for indexation of family payments," Mr Howe said."The already discredited social security spokesman David Connolly believes that the coalition would continue to provide indexation."While Mr Braithwaite's interpretation has yet to be revealed, Mr Peacock has refused to commit the Opposition to indexation beyond its first year."Just what are the Opposition's real plans?"There is no mention of indexation of the new rebates offered up recently by the Opposition - to use John Howard's analogy they would be a "melting iceblock."It is clear that the Opposition has no commitment to the fundamentally important issue of indexation."This Government has shown clearly its continued and meaningful commitment to families with its historic decision to adjust and index all family payments in line with inflation."Such a commitment to maintain the real value of payments to help with the cost of children has never before been made in Australia."From January next year - and every January after that - this Government is committed to indexing family allowance, double orphans pension, multiple birth payments, mother's/guardians allowance, the child disability allowance and Austudy."In addition, famila allowance supplement, which is now paid to 184,000 low income working families with 460,000 children, will be adjusted each Janaury to maintain the standards of adequacy for child payments."The Opposition has refused to commit itself to ongoing indexation of those programs beyond January 1991.COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MIC AH

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"The Opposition's so-called commitment is one of convenience — they have reserved the right to renege on indexation if it suits them at a later date.

"This Government currently spends $1.Sbillion a year on indexation of social security pensions, benefits and family payments.

"Will that $1.3 billion become part of the Opposition's savings option for future years?

"The Opposition's confusion about indexation - like its confusion over child care - highlights the fact that there is no coherent policy behind their proposals.

"There is no policy, there is no commitment, there is no compassion and there is no fair go.

"The Opposition's plans are a grab-bag of ideas stuck together with the glue of expedience and convenience.

"The glue is now starting to come unstuck."


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