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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1862

Mr HAYDEN (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - My question is addressed to the Prime Minister and refers to his Government's scheme of financial aid to local authorities to stimulate employment and to modify the current employment problems. Is he aware that the award rate for unskilled labouring work with a local authority in Queensland is $48.55 a week and. consequently, that a man on this income supporting a wife and 6 children has a total income, including child endowment, of $16.35 a week below the updated poverty line when one applies the basic formula used in the 1966 poverty survey of Melbourne University? Is it a fact that the unemployment benefit plus child endowment for this man would provide him with nearly $4 a week more than he would earn under the Government sponsored relief programme as an unskilled worker -

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member is making comments. This is question time and he should ask his question.

Mr HAYDEN - Is it a fact that the unemployment benefit plus child endowment falls $12.60 a week below the poverty line? Will he move promptly to institute a guaranteed income scheme so that no family, and certainly no young children, will be repressed socially, culturally and economically by relative poverty?

Mr McMAHON - Referring first to the last part of the honourable gentleman's question, he should know that this is a policy matter and as such is not a suitable subject for a question in the House. As to the first part of the question, there were so many figures in it that I doubt whether any person on this or the other side of the House could answer it.

Mr Hayden - Here are the figures.

Mr McMAHON - 1 do not need them, I can get them from Hansard. I will refer the question to the Treasury, Department of Labour and National Service and the Department of Social Services and let the honourable member have a reply.

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