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Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Page: 2077

Mr CREAN (2:54 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind him of the Treasurer's answer yesterday that services to retirement village residents in serviced apartments are not GST free.

Mr Costello —That's not right.

Mr CREAN —Read the Hansard. Does the Prime Minister stand by his election promise announced when the GST was introduced that these services would be GST free? Hasn't this GST-free status been confirmed in correspondence to industry representatives from the offices of you, Prime Minister, the Assistant Treasurer and the Minister for Aged Care? I quote:

All residents of retirement villages who receive personal care will not pay GST on fees and charges for their care, meals and accommodation.

Isn't this why these Australians are not paying GST now? Does the Prime Minister agree with the Treasurer's statement yesterday which changed government policy by extending the GST to these elderly Australians?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —The member for Hotham has misrepresented the Treasurer and therefore the whole basis of his question falls to the ground.

Mr Crean —Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table three items of correspondence, one from the office of the Minister for Aged Care, one from the office of the Assistant Treasurer and one from the office of the Prime Minister, confirming the GST-free status. And I refer members to the Treasurer's answer yesterday in the Hansard.

Leave granted.

The SPEAKER —I remind the Treasurer that standing order 55 applies to all members of the House.