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Tuesday, 25 November 1986
Page: 2703

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(8.05) —I am informed that the examination which the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce (Senator Button) had indicated to Senator Chaney before the dinner break would be made is in the process of being made, but it is too early at this stage to report on the effect of those cuts in particular industries. All bounty recipients have been considered equally and the Government will continue to monitor effects in this area. As Senator Chaney has answered himself and as I did in summing up on the second reading, this in fact was a budgetary decision. It was a fiscal measure made to reduce government expenditure. It was part of the changes that were made so that we could produce the reductions in expenditure that we wanted to and have those reductions borne across the community as much as possible.

The proposed new Bounty (Books) Bill 1986 which commences on 1 January 1987 ensures that there has not been a double reduction in the book bounty which would have made difficulties for book producers. I assume that these changes were made to pick up that special case. The legislation, I am informed, repeats the rate reductions that were made on 20 August in the Budget. It does not make a further reduction. Therefore, those areas have been treated equally taking into account the difficulties that would have been raised if there were further reductions. I hope that means something.