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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4558

Mr Hurford asked the Minister for Social Services, upon notice:

(1)   What is the average cost in each Suite of a one-bedroom unit built, with assistance under the Aged Persons Homes Act, since 1st July 1971.

(2)   What was the average assistance given per unit under the Act in each State during the same period.

(3)   ls it a fact that in most cases individual senior citizens must donate the difference to the association providing the unit.

(4)   ls it also a fact that his Department will allow pensioners, who make such donations to associations for one-bedroom units built with assistance received under the Act, to relate only $2,500 of the donation to housing and thus include any donation over $2,500 in the means as assessed of the pensioner when calculating the pension.

(5)   If so, in view of the unreasonableness of the figure of $2,500 in relation to the amount the pensioner is obliged to donate, will the Government consider increasing this amount.

Mr Wentworth - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) In grants approved under the Aged Person Homes Act since 1st July 1971 the average provisional capital cost (excluding expenditure on furniture) and the estimated average Commonwealth subsidy for each aged person accommodated, for each Sate, are shown in the following table:

(3)   No. Of the organisations' funds used to attract Commonwealth subsidy since 1st July 1971, less than one-third was derived by donations from prospective residents.

(4)   and (5) In the case of a single person the limit of donation disregarded for pension purposes, excluding expenditure on furniture, is $2,500. The limit of the Commonwealth grant for single person accommodation is $4,800 which, together with the amount of $2,500 produces a total of $7,300 which should cover 'he cost of providing accommodation for one person.

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