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Wednesday, 26 October 1949

Mr HOLT (Fawkner) . - I thank the Minister for Post-war Reconstruction (Mr. Dedman) for his explanation ;but I ask him to deal at greater length with the point that I have made about the charge that is levied to finance the fund for miners' pensions. The Minister has stated that that fund is not supported by an excise, but I recall that the price of coal was increased by1s. or 1s. 6d. a ton in order to finance that pensions scheme. I assumed that the provisions which applied in that regard would probably apply in the present instance. Those facts may give the Minister some guidance as to the persons who will be required to pay the proposed excise of 6d. a ton.

Mr Dedman - I think that the honorable member is under a misapprehension. The pensions scheme is on a contributory basis, and is not financed by means of a levy on coal.

Mr HOLT - But it has involved an increase of the price of coal to the consumer.

Mr Dedman - That may be so indirectly, but the miners' pensions scheme is not financed by a levy on coal.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Bill - by leave - read a third time.

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