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Tuesday, 25 May 1993
Page: 1236

Senator PATTERSON (8.37 p.m.) —That is because they would be well in excess of what the Government has guesstimated. It seems to me that the Minister will have to yet again tell the Australian public, especially the older people and pensioners, `We are sorry, we actually did not tell you the facts before the election; we told you something else'—I am not allowed to say `We lied'—in our brochures. We told you that we were going to take you out of the tax system by 1995 but, dear me, that was an error in our platform. We should have said five days after the election that we had something different in mind'. The public should be told that the Government cannot fulfil its promise to extend fringe benefits because it cannot get the States and local governments to come to the party.

  The Government also did not make allowance for the fact that a lot of people would now apply for fringe benefits or a pension who perhaps would not have applied before because the amounts involved were fairly minimal. With the carrot of fringe benefits, they have decided it might now be worth while to make the effort to do the paperwork. There are all sorts of other reasons why the guesstimates might be out. I hope it does not come to it, but I guess that the Minister will have to tell the Australian public that the Government does not have the money for yet another promise and will have to face pensioners and older people with yet another broken promise.