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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 1492

Mr GRIFFITHS - I address my question to the Prime Minister as the Leader of the Government. In view of the Government's belated but commendable move to relieve the poverty and hardship of people living on fixed incomes, will he tell the Parliament whether the Government has any plans to help those people whose paper assets prevent them from receiving social service benefits or the fringe benefits that flow from being a recipient of a pension? Is the Prime Minister aware that recently a property at Narrabri with an improved value of more than $14,600 brought only $8,000 at public auction, yet the Department of Social Services is paying the invalid pensioner owner of that property only $7 a week even though she had to meet a debt of more than $1,200 for this year's rates? Will the Prime Minister cause an investigation to be made into the anomaly to which I have referred so that at least some sort of justice may at last come to the very oldest of Australian citizens who are being denied their proper entitlement to social welfare?

Mr McMAHON - I will ensure that an inquiry is made as requested by the honourable gentleman and I will let him know the result of it. But I should advise him that the tapered means test will be substantially liberalised in the way mentioned by the Treasurer in his statement to the House last night.

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