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Wednesday, 23 March 1966

Mr SINCLAIR - The Commonwealth Government regards the matter of charges for accommodation in homes for the aged as the responsibility of the organisation running the home. The object of the Aged Persons Homes Act, brought down by this Government, was to encourage voluntary organisations to establish homes for the aged in the community. Towards this end, the Government makes a payment of £2 for every £1 raised by the organisation. As a result of this incentive, voluntary organisations have raised a tremendous amount of money for homes for the aged. The supplementary assistance provided by the Government is designed primarily to offset the disadvantage suffered by single people paying rent compared with married people. Married pensioners have the advantage of sharing most expenses, including, but not exclu sively, those of running a house. The charges made for homes for the aged are beyond the control of the Department of Social Services or of the Government. Consequently I and my Department are not in a position to ask officials of these homes to distinguish between single and married pensioners. There is nothing that we can do to offset any disadvantage that might arise.

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