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Wednesday, 28 November 1973
Page: 2190

Senator LITTLE (VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(1)   Does the Minister's statement, which appeared on page 3219 of the House of Representatives Hansard of 13 November 1 973, that three out of four families, including those in which there is a working wife, would find the Government's proposed national health scheme cheaper than at present, take into account the extra taxation to be paid if the proposed rate of 1 .33 per cent is itself not deductible from personal income?

(2)   Will the Minister table, for the information of senators, the documents upon which his statement was based and the statistical information supplied to him by his advisers that prompted the conclusions referred to above.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(I)   and (2) The Minister for Social Security refers the honourable senator to his reply to a very similar question by a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Tom McVeigh, Member for Darling Downs, which was asked in the House on 22 November 1973-

Mr McVEIGHWill the Minister for Social Security table in the House all the information contained in the documents and calculations on which he bases his assertion that health insurance under his proposals will be cheaper for three out of four families and seven out often single persons?

Mr HAYDENBasically the information used for the purposes of that exercise comes from the Bureau of Census and Statistics publication 'Income Distribution 1968-1969' which was published quite recently. It is a simple exercise to update those calculations. When I was in Opposition I received no help from the Government and did the hard work myself. I suggest that members of the Opposition ought to start doing a bit of work too.

Senator Little - Could I ask the Minister whether he intends to answer question 1 as well as question 2.

The PRESIDENT - Order! Question time is over.

Senator Little - But that is not an answer to the first part of the question.

The PRESIDENT - Order ! There was so much noise in the chamber that I could not hear you, Senator Little. What is it you wish?

Senator Little - My point is that the answer does not answer at all question 1, which was on notice, and that is whether the amount of 1.35 per cent was to be tax deductible.

The PRESIDENT - Order! That is not a point of order. You can take such action as is open to you as a senator to deal with this at a later stage of the day.

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