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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 964

Senator SCOTT -I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education: Is it a fact that many students in secondary schools and tertiary institutions have missed out on Federal Government allowances because inflation has taken parents' income above the means test limit? Can the Minister tell the Senate how many secondary school students have received allowances this year and how this figure compares with the number who benefited annually under the former Government's secondary scholarship scheme? Will the Government review the position before the commencement of the 1975 school year?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - All I can say is that I understand there may have been some criticism of the scheme on the grounds that the means test imposed by the scheme might be considered to be too restrictive and that the maximum allowance of $304 per annum might be too low. I can tell the honourable senator from information I have received from my colleague the Minister for Education that these aspects of the scheme are being reviewed. As with other schemes of student assistance, adjustments will be made from time to time in the light of movements in salaries, wages and costs. I am told by the Minister that by mid-June almost 7,000 students had received benefits under the scheme, over 60 per cent of them at the maximum rate. Present indications are that a further 1,500 to 2,000 students are likely to receive benefits during this year. ~. point out to the honourable senator that applications for this type of assistance may be lodged at any time during the year. As I said at the outset, aspects of the scheme relating to the means test are under review.

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