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Hawke's re-ordering of priorities

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PRESS RELEASE Senator Tony Messner Shadow Minister for Community Services THE SENATE 50/85


Tonight's announcement by the Treasurer represents a curious

re-ordering of the Hawke Government's priorities in the welfare


The Government's rhetoric prior to its coming to office in 1983

and its subsequent actions are unrelated.

Changes to the family allowance arrangements'draw further atten­

tion to the fact that the Forward Estimates disclosed that the

area of assistance to families is expected to have the lowest

growth rate of any compenent of the welfare budget.

The freezing of the maximum level of nursing home benefits in

two States and the Northern Territory continues the Hawke Govern­

ment's attack upon the peace and security of Australia's aged.

The simple fact is that despite the Labor Party's pre-1983 .

rhetoric about the need to assist families and the aged, Labor .

in office has been totally hypocritical. .

On the positive side, it is interesting to note that the Govern­

ment has decided to adopt the Opposition's approach as outlined

in our social security policy and tackle the area of fraud and

circumvention. .

The Opposition would have expected that a more determined

approach in this area would have proved more fruitful than the

$25 million in savings that the Hawke Government expects.


Contact: Barry O'Farrell (062) 72 6966