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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4613

Mr Berinson (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   What effect can be anticipated on the next quarterly cost of living index as a result of increased (a) charges on pharmaceutical benefit prescriptions, (b) telephone charges and (c) postal charges.

(2)   What is the estimated effect on the weekly cost of living as a result of each .of these increases.

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

The Commonwealth Statistician has supplied the following information in reply to the honourable member's question.

(1)   Quarterly Consumer Price Index numbers are compiled and published at the earliest passible date following collection of prices al various specified points of time throughout each quarter No official estimates of anticipated changes . in index numbers are prepared and published in advance of the regular collection, calculation and publication of lbc index numbers. . .

Index numbers and 'index points' contributions to the total index- tor the sub-group 'Costal and Telephone Services' are published regularly in the quarterly Consumer Price Index bulletin (reference no 9.1). The bulletin for December -Quarter 1971, which is expected lo he published on approximately 20th January 1972, will show the effect on the index of changes in postal and telephone charges. Pharmaceutical benefit prescriptions are not included in lbc fist of items of the Consumer Price Index.

(2)   The Statistician does not make any calculations or estimates of the cost nf living.

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