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Tuesday, 20 August 1996
Page: 2727

(Question No. 123)

Senator Denman asked the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 9 July 1996:

What would be the effect of removing the requirement that a wife's weekly compensation payments be treated as a direct deduction under section 1168 of the Social Security Act 1991 when it culminates in a reduction of a husband's job search allowance on a dollar for dollar basis obtained after the wife began to receive compensation.

Senator Newman —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The effect of removing partners from the direct deduction provisions of section 1168 of the Social Security Act 1991 would be to increase social security expenditure to people whose income support is the responsibility of employers and their insurers under the State and Territory workers' compensation schemes. In the context of work by the Heads of Workers' Compensation Authorities on reform of the compensation arrangements nationally, the Department of Social Security has requested data to allow a number of policy options to be costed. This data has not yet been made available. The exact cost to the Commonwealth cannot be calculated without data from the State and Territory schemes.