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Thursday, 16 September 1971
Page: 1499

Mr Berinson (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   Is it a fact that Commonwealth Superannuation Pensions have not been adjusted since November 1967.

(2)   If so, has the real value of these pensions, as measured against movements in the consumer price index, declined in the meantime by 11 per cent.

(3)   Will he take steps to have the previous practice of 4-yearly adjustments to these pensions followed this year, by ensuring that an increase is provided in the 1971 Budget.

(4)   Will he also undertake to consider the reduction of the time lag between reviews so as to minimise the difficulties which are otherwise suffered by retired public servants in periods of inflation.

Mr Snedden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: (1), (2), (3) and (4) The Superannuation (Pension Increases) Bill 1971 that was introduced into the House of Representatives on 19th August 1971 makes provision for increases in existing pensions payable under the Superannuation Act 1922-1971, The Bill provides for the increases to be calculated by the notional salary method using an adjustment date of 30 June 1971.

The notional salary method was also used to calculate the increases granted in 1961, 1963 and 1967 but, as stated in my Budget Speech on 17th August 1971, that method is complex and experience has shown that it generates anomalies and inequities between pensioners. The Government proposes to examine simpler and more equitable methods of adjustment with a view to future application on a regular basis.

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