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Wednesday, 2 April 1980
Page: 1332

Senator McLAREN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -The Minister for Social Security will be aware that since November 1975 the rate of unemployment benefit for single persons has been increased on five occasions; the rate for single persons with dependants has been increased on six occasions; and the rate for married couples has been increased on seven occasions. Will the Minister acknowledge that in the same period the rate of child allowance has not been increased at all, that since November 1975 it has remained at $7.50 and that this $7.50 is now worth only $5.06 in 1975 dollars? When will the Government increase child allowance for people in receipt of unemployment benefit?

Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle (VICTORIA) - Senator McLaren raises a matter of policy. These matters will be considered in the context of the forthcoming Budget. The figures mentioned by Senator McLaren with regard to the rate of child allowance are correct. There has not been an increase in child allowance for some time and it is a matter that has been constantly under consideration by the Government. In light of the many other claims that are made for increases in and the maintenance of the income security system, up to this point it has not been possible to increase that rate of allowance for children of pensioners and beneficiaries. However, as I said, it is a matter of policy and it is one that is constantly under consideration.

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