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Monday, 17 September 1973
Page: 1068

Mr HOLTEN - I am not arguing the pros and cons of the economic responsibility. I have no doubt that the honourable gentleman will say: 'We have put the pensions up a lot more than you did when you were in government - or some of them.' I am not referring to whether economic irresponsibility has been displayed by the Labor Government in making increases in pensions. I am arguing that Labor has not stuck to its promises solemnly and sincerely given by the present Prime Minister when he broadcast his election speech. He promised about 1 million exservicemen and women that a Labor government would take certain action in regard to repatriation pensions, including the general rate pension and the pension for totally and permanently incapacitated ex-servicemen. He said that Labor would take action proportionately with regard to other pensions and allowances. That promise has not been carried out and therefore the Labor Government has something to answer for in that regard. It is no argument for the Government to say that it has raised pensions significantly. The test that must be applied is whether the Prime Minis ter has done , for ex-servicemen and women and the organisations representing them - the Returned Services League and others - what he promised he would do.

Mr McVeigh - Whitlam pulled their legs.

Mr HOLTEN - That is quite right. The answer is no, he has not carried out his promise and I hope the ex-servicemen and women of this country will register their disapproval at the appropriate time.

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