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Thursday, 11 November 1971
Page: 3319

Mr GRIFFITHS (SHORTLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Social Services. Is it a fact that pensioner couples receive basic pension of $61 a fortnight and may receive supplementary income of $34 without reduction of pension? If a superannuitant receives a fortnightly income in excess of $34, is the gross pension reduced accordingly? For example, if a man receives $49 a fortnight in superannuation is the age pension rate then $46 a fortnight, making a total of $95 from both sources? In the former case, does a widow continue to receive $61 for 6 fortnights after the death of her spouse, while in the latter case the widow receives only $46 a fortnight? If this is so, will the Minister say whether this is still another example of how the Government dispenses justice to some pensioners and whether it is similar to the penalties imposed on some people by the Postmaster-General's Department in its application of fringe benefits?

Mr WENTWORTH (MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - The honourable member is no doubt quicker than I am at adding up, dividing and subtracting. I would say that in principle what he said is probably correct. If he will let me have the figures I will myself do the addition, subtraction and so on and will let him know the exact answer. I think the answer probably is, yes.

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