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Wednesday, 16 May 1973
Page: 2171

Mr LLOYD (MURRAY, VICTORIA) - I address a question to the Minister for Social Security. The Minister referred recently to a study his Department is undertaking into anomalies in and possible extension of the domiciliary care benefit, including the parents of children over the age of 16 years who are receiving an invalid pension and needing costly nursing care at home. Win he consider including the parents of handicapped children in the domiciliary care scheme where the children are unable to be accommodated in a special home or institution and are therefore ineligible for any of the forms of assistance under the National Health Act? Does he consider that these parents who are unable to have their children accommodated or who feel it is their duty to care personally for their children are being penalised financially at present and that the extension of the domiciliary care benefit would provide some justice to them?

Mr HAYDEN (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Social Security) - Of course, like all honourable members I am concerned about the plight of people in the circumstances which the honourable member outlined. However, I would point out that the government of which he was a supporter and which held power through a succession of leaderships for 23 years, although no doubt concerned, did nothing about these problems.

Mr Lloyd - I have not played politics with this question and I expect you to do the same.

Mr HAYDEN - Well, I have, and justifiably. As I indicated last week or the week before, the scheme to which the honourable member refers increasingly shows that it has problems, that there are anomalies involved in it and that before anything further is done to extend or in any way adapt the scheme a thorough inquiry is being carried out into what can be done to remove these anomalies and to make the scheme work more successfully.

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