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Tuesday, 8 March 1966


Mr MCMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - Already I have asked both the Decimal Currency Board and my Department to let me know whether the change from the pound to the dollar has led to any significant increases in prices and, if so, whether those price increases could be identified. The Board and the Department have reported to me that the prices of some commodities, such as tobacco and cigarettes, have fallen and that others have risen. They told me that some retailers and some manufacturers who have increased their prices would have taken this action if decimal currency had not been introduced and that they have taken advantage of the situation to blame their course of action on the change to decimal currency. I have been informed that it would be impracticable to distinguish increases of this kind from others. As to the other two questions asked by the honorable gentleman, I can assure him that when we are considering the Budget and social services changes in conjunction with social welfare we always consider the impact of price rises on people on fixed incomes, especially pensioners. Though this is not the decisive influence, it is one of the important influences that are considered. I can assure the honorable gentleman that changes in prices due to the adoption of decimal currency and changes in prices due to other causes will be deeply considered by the Government during the Budget deliberations.







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