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Thursday, 15 May 1980
Page: 2275

Senator YOUNG (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -Is the Minister for Social Security aware that members of the Australian Army Reserve who are in employment are not required to pay any tax on moneys received from the Army for attending bivouacs and parades? Is the Minister aware that if a person were unemployed he or she would be required to disclose any moneys received from the Army which would be taken into consideration in the payment of the unemployment benefit? If this is so, will the Minister take the necessary steps to remove such anomalies as they are unfair and discouraging to those who are unfortunately unemployed?

Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle (VICTORIA) - The first point in Senator Young's question, I believe, relates to matters that are the responsibility of the Treasurer. It relates to taxation requirements. I understand that the implication in the question is accurate. In regard to the second part of the question, that is, the taking into account of that income in determining the payment of unemployment benefit, in accordance with the Social Services Act that income is taken into account. If there were to be any change it would require an amendment to the Act.

This matter has been raised with me and I am able to say that the matter is under consideration, but until such time as any decision is taken by the Government or an amendment is made the income would still need to be taken into account. Attendance allowances paid to defray costs incurred in attending parades are not regarded as income, but I hope that as a result of the consideration of this matter by the Government some decisions may be taken that would resolve the matter raised by Senator Young.

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