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Tuesday, 29 May 1984
Page: 2003

Senator TEAGUE —My question is directed to the Minister for Social Security. I refer him to the Government's decision in the last Budget, reinforced on 2 May by the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, the Minister representing him in the Senate, that aspects of the proposed assets test, namely, disposal of assets after 24 August 1983 without adequate consideration, would constitute deprivation of assets for the purposes of the test. As the new proposals from the Gruen Assets Test Review Panel are completely different from the Government' s original proposals, will the Minister assure pensioners that the test will not now apply retrospectively?

Senator GRIMES —The proposals of the Gruen Panel, as Senator Teague has said, are before the Government. Some of them are similar to the previous assets test proposals and some of them are not at all similar to those proposals. The Government is at the moment considering those proposals. In that consideration, of course, there will be consideration of what deprivation provisions there should be. I remind Senator Teague that deprivation provisions are already in the social security legislation. I suggest to the honourable senator that he wait a couple of days until we get the report down and the Government's response to that report. I believe we can then debate this and all other details. But no assets test that I have suggested or that anyone else has suggested will be retrospective.