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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2441

Senator WEBSTER (VICTORIA) -My question which is directed to the Leader of the Government in the

Senate, follows his comment in answer to a question relating to Labor's interest in pensioners which he acknowledged is quite great at this time. I ask the Leader of the Government in the Senate- I have asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security without getting any answer at all- whether he is concerned that under Labor the base pension at this time is less as a percentage of average weekly earnings than it was prior to Labor coming to office. I will give the Minister a chance to get some information before he answers the question.

The PRESIDENT - Order! Please ask the question.

Senator WEBSTER - I ask the Minister: Is he alert to that situation? What does Labor intend to do?

Senator MURPHY - Labor intends to carry out what it said it would do; that is, to adjust the pension. It is doing that. I think that its policy in this area has been generally approved. I acknowledge that the honourable senator is concerned for pensioners and that he wants the Labor Government to do more for them. It is a pity that when he was in a position to influence the former Government he did not exert his efforts so that pensioners might have obtained some of the benefits which they have received under the present Government.

Senator WEBSTER -Mr President,I seek approval to ask a supplementary question. I think you will recognise that my question was not answered. I asked the Leader of the Government in the Senate whether he was aware that under Labor, at the present time, the base pension as a percentage of average weekly earnings is less than it was prior to Labor's coming to office.

Senator MURPHY -The answer is no.

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