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Tuesday, 9 September 1958
Page: 1013

Mr Cairns s asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   What is the present balance in the National Welfare Fund?

2.   Does the Government propose to make use of this balance?

3.   If not, what is the reason for not doing so?

4.   Under what circumstances would the Government make use of the balance in this fund?

Sir Arthur Fadden - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   At 30th June, 1958, the balance in the National Welfare Fund was £197,019,775 15s. 2, 3 and 4. The balance in the National Welfare fund has increased under the present Government until it is now approximately twice as large as it was at 30th June, 1949. The Government has regarded it, and still regards it, as a reserve against the possibility of exceptionally heavy social service payments being required in any period. In the meantime the balance in the fund is invested in internal treasury-bills which are short-term Commonwealth securities and, in accordance with the National Welfare Fund Act 1943-1953, an amount is paid each year to the fund from Consolidated Revenue equal to the actual expenditure from the fund in that year.

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