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Thursday, 4 July 2019
Page: 348


Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerLeader of the Opposition) (14:16): My question is again addressed to the Prime Minister. The government has refused to adjust deeming rates since March 2015, despite interest rates being cut five times. What has this cost the average pensioner?

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister and Minister for the Public Service) (14:16): The Leader of the Opposition would be aware that the deeming rate currently sits at 1.75 per cent for the lower threshold, which is to the first $51,800 of a single aged pensioners financial assets. The 3.25 per cent upper deeming rate applies to financial investments above this threshold. He is correct that the last time—

Mr Perrett interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Moreton is warned.

Mr MORRISON: The last time that this was changed was when I was Minister for Social Services. We have had a consistency in cash rate positions for some time. In fact, it has been a record for the consistency of cash rates. There have been two changes to the cash rates most recently, and that is what prompted the Minister for Families and Social Services, with my encouragement, to bring forward a submission to the ERC and ask the Department of Social Services to review the deeming rate once again. That matter will be considered by the ERC in the normal course of events. It will be done responsibly and in accordance with the government's overall fiscal strategy.