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Wednesday, 16 December 1992
Page: 5250


Senator TATE (Minister for Justice) (8.03 p.m.) —Without going into the substantive arguments in this matter, it is important to point out to Senator Lees, for example, that, as I understand it, the new treatment of allocated pensions and annuities was announced on 1 July 1992. The market has shown significant growth since then, so I do not think her fears are well grounded. But what I do fear is that the uncertainty that will be created over the next nine months at least—perhaps longer, if a Senate committee is reporting—will create more turmoil than if this measure were passed into law and one could see exactly how it was going to operate.

  There is no doubt that, if one reads Senator Patterson's amendments and tries to envisage what would happen if there were an adverse Senate committee report—according to her amendments, the Bill would then become effective and the provision would come into effect—one could see that this would create a tremendous amount of uncertainty and difficulty. Basically, it is putting off the matter in the hope that the Opposition may come into government and deal with the matter. It is a little opposite to what was happening last night with the Medicare Agreements Bill, so I suppose that Senator Patterson has had her revenge in that respect. The Government will be opposing these amendments because of the uncertainty this would create in this market, which we still think is an important one.

  Amendments agreed to.

  Bill, as amended, agreed to.

DATA-MATCHING PROGRAM (ASSISTANCE AND TAX) AMENDMENT BILL 1992

VETERANS' AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (No. 2) 1992

SOCIAL SECURITY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (No. 2) 1992

  The Bills.