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Wednesday, 1 May 1957

Mr STEWART (LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I wish to address a question to the Minister for Social Services. In view of the recent increase of the federal basic wage by 10s. a week, and the statement by the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission that the increase was based on the maximum that industry could afford to pay and not on a needs concept, will the Minister give immediate consideration to alleviating the suffering and hardship of parents with young children, whose needs are ignored by the commission in the assessment of the basic wage? Is the Minister aware that child endowment has not been increased since 1951, when the federal basic wage was less than £6 a week, although, with the addition of the latest increase, the wage is now £13 3s. a week. In view of those facts, will the Minister give sympathetic and favorable consideration to increasing child endowment in an effort to give a measure of social justice to the parents of young children?

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