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Tuesday, 16 March 1971

Senator McMANUS (VICTORIA) - Is the Minister representing the Minister for Social Services aware that inflation has caused, and is causing, intense distress to those on small fixed incomes, which have been obtained through the exercise of thrift in their earlier years, and also to those on superannuation? Will the assistance for pensioners just announced by the Government be supplemented by some form of assistance to the equally deserving fixed income and superannuation groups?

Senator Dame ANNABELLE RANKIN - I remind the honourable senator that the point made yesterday by the Prime Minister in relation to this matter was that the proposed increase for persons receiving the maximum rate of age, invalid, widow and service pensions would be $1 for pensioner couples and 50c for single persons.

Senator Poyser - That does not answer the question which was asked.

Senator Dame ANNABELLE RANKIN - I will continue, if I may, without the honourable senator's help. Senator McManus referred to this matter and I have repeated the proposal for his information. He then asked whether further assistance would be given to those on fixed incomes. I remind the honourable senator that the Prime Minister and the Minister for Social Services have said that this immediate increase of pension rates will be followed by a fundamental review of social services and related pensions and that all these matters concerning social service benefits will be considered when the Budget for the next financial year comes up for review. I can assure Senator McManus that the points he raised will be placed before the Minister for Social Services.

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