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Wednesday, 12 September 1973
Page: 837

Mr BERINSON (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Has the Treasurer's attention heen drawn to an editorial in today's 'Sydney Morning Herald' which criticises the decision to make pensions taxable concurrent with the abolition of the means test and which asserts that the Treasurer's description of the age allowance as anomalous was without any supporting argument? Can the Treasurer elaborate on the reasons for abolition of the age allowance? Will he also comment on the statement by the 'Sydney Morning Herald' that the result of measures announced in the Budget will be that many aged persons will pay what it says is a good deal more tax against which the new tax rebate of $156 will be inadequate compensation? Can the Treasurer make available a factual summary of the anticipated result of the combined Budget measures on these matters?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The section of the question asking for a comment or opinion is out of order.

Mr CREAN - Might I answer the last part of the question first.

Mr Lloyd - And briefly.

Mr CREAN - I can be brief and sometimes I am. Brevity may be the soul of wit but it does not always disclose all the facts. In view of the concern of many honourable members about the operation of the new means test provisions and the decision now to make the pension taxable - I might say that was the intention of the previous Government, and there will be some anomolies in its introduction, as there always are - I have prepared a statement that will be available after question time to all members, senators, the Press and anybody else who is interested. It attempts to delineate the operations of the new provisions.

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