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Patterson contradicts Prime Minister on millionaire welfare.

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Senator Chris Evans Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Shadow Minister for Family and Community


12 September 2005

Patterson Contradicts Prime Minister on Millionaire Welfare

In Senate question time today Family and Community Services Minister Kay Patterson managed to embarrass the Prime Minister - and herself - with her answer about the wealthy receiving welfare payments.

On the 29th of August the Prime Minister said: 'I want to make it clear I'm opposed to changing the Family Tax Benefit system.'

This out of touch position was contradicted by Minister Patterson who said today: 'What I have indicated is that I have asked my department to give me detailed profiles of the sorts of people in that category. I am having a look at that and, if I feel it is of concern, I will raise that with the Prime Minister.'

In August Labor revealed 76 families with annual incomes over $1 million receive Family Tax Benefit part B.

For incomes of over $500 000, the figure is 352 families. The Part B benefit is not means tested on the income of the 'primary earner'.

Research by the Melbourne Institute reported today shows 40 per cent of the wealthiest two per cent of families receive an average $680 in family payments each year.

These latest figures reinforce Labor's commitment to introduce a single family payment with a consistent income test for all Australian families who need Government support.

For more information please call media adviser John McNamara: 02 6277 3233, 0418 308 599.