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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3222


Dr Cass asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 2 April 1980:

(   1 ) Has the Minister's attention been drawn to an editorial which appeared in the Italian newspaper II Globo in both Italian and English on 17 March 1980, relating to pensions for aged immigrants.

(2)   If so, what has been the cost per year for the last three years for which figures are available for pensions in the various categories for immigrants from (a) the United Kingdom and (b) New Zealand.

(3)   What is the value of pensions brought to this country by immigrants from (a) Italy, (b) the UK and (c) New Zealand.

(4)   What would be the cost of extending to Italian immigrants now in Australia the privilege extended to immigrants from the UK and New Zealand.

(5)   What would be the cost of exending the provisions of the UK and New Zealand agreements to all immigrants of pension age in Australia.


Mr Hunt -The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Expenditure on pensions paid to immigrants from the United Kingdom and New Zealand is not recorded separately. However, at 30 June 1979, there were 212,960 pensioners in Australia receiving age, invalid or widow's pension and supporting parent's benefit who were born in the United Kingdom. The corresponding total for persons born in New Zealand was 11,950. At 30 June 1979 there were 15,308 former United Kingdom residents (excluding wife pensioners) and 303 former New Zealand residents (including wife pensioners) receiving Australian social services pensions under the reciprocal agreements on social security with the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

(3)   Statistics relating to the value of pensions brought to Australia by immigrants are not available. However, at 30 June, 1 979, some 45,000 social security pensioners were also in receipt of UK pensions. Corresponding figures for pensioners in receipt of Italian pensions are not available. New Zealand pensions are payable in Australia on a temporary transfer basis only. There were 15 such pensions being paid at 30 June 1979.

(4)   It is not possible to estimate with any accuracy the costs of extending to Italian immigrants the pension conditions applying to United Kingdom and New Zealand immigrants, as information is not available about the income distribution of such immigrants.

(5)   It is not possible to estimate the cost of extending to all immigrants of pension age in Australia the pension conditions applying to United Kingdom and New Zealand immigrants, again because information is not available about the income distribution of such persons.







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