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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1300

Mr IAN CAMERON —I wish to make a personal explanation to the House following Question Time.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr IAN CAMERON —Yes, I do.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —The honourable member may proceed.

Mr IAN CAMERON —In Question Time today the honourable member for Batman, the Minister for Social Security (Mr Howe), continued to wrap his words together and attribute words to me which I have not said in respect of pensioners. I have still not been able to get the transcript of the 2GB radio interview. The Minister said that it was in Hansard. I have not said anything in this House pertaining to the matter. What the Minister did when he was asked a question on 19 February was quote my comments in an interview. The Hansard of that date states:

. . . when I say cuts I mean cuts that every Australian is going to squeal like a stuck pig because they are all going to suffer.

I have not tied that comment at all with pensioners. The interview continued:

. . . because right now everyone of us has got his hand in the till and we got to get it out of the till if we're going to get this country up and moving again.

I stand by those comments. As I recall, that is what I said. The interviewer asked me whether anything was sacred. I said that I did not particularly think so. He asked me a question about defence. I said I felt that that was probably a little sacred and it was something on which we should not be cutting expenditure. I said:

Defence spending, I guess that's something that we have to maintain. I guess that's probably one thing that is a bit sacred.

The interviewer then asked:

What about pensions?

I replied:

Pensions. I guess the pensioners might have to stand still-

I did not say `cuts'-

. . . if we can have less taxes-

the interview was to do with reducing the amount of taxation from the present top rate of 50c to 25c in the dollar-

there's no reason why we should be giving pensioners or anybody else in the community any more funds.

That is, if we are to reduce taxation. I stand by those remarks. I would also add that it is not the coalition's policy to cut out the indexation of pensions.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member cannot speak on behalf of the coalition. I think that he has made clear where he was misrepresented.

Mr IAN CAMERON —I hope that the House has noted that, and when the Minister comes into this House in future and misrepresents me-

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member has made the point where he was misrepresented. If he wishes to pursue that point further, he can do so. He does not have any right to speak about the Minister or other parties in the Parliament.

Mr IAN CAMERON —I would like to point out to you, Mr Deputy Speaker, and to the House that the comments I made were not related to one another; they were completely separate. I object to those words being tied together and used against me in this place.