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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2697

SPEECH IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CANBERRA - NATIONAL RETIREMENT BENEFITS

Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 19/10/1972

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 2697

SPEECH BY THE-PRIME MINISTER, THE RT HION. WILLIA4
McMAHON, CH,. MP, IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
CANBERRA
NATIONAL RFTIREMENT BENEFITS 19 October 1972
I wish to announce to the House the terms of reference for
a committee of enquiry into the best way of abolishing the means test
over the next three years and -f responsibly financing this significant
measure in association with the possible introduction of a national
superannuation scheme.
The Government's decision to introduce means-test-free
pensions for people aged 65 and over represents a major social advance
with considerable financial, economic and social implications.
We accordingly announced in the 1972-73 Budget speech our
decision to appoint a committee of enquiry to examine and report on
these matters, including the question of how the proposal for
means-test-free pensions could be responsibly financed with particular
reference to national superannuation.
As announced in the 1972-73 Budget speech, the Government
is committed to abolition, within the next three years, of the means
test on ae m. nsion eligibility for residentially qualified men and
women aged 65 years and over.
The Government has also decided that the free-of-means test
pension will be subject to tax but, following past practice, provision
will be made to exempt or partially relieve from taxation persons in
the lower income groups receiving free-of-means test pension.
In addition, the Government has determined that eligibility
for supplementary assistance and for Commonwealth ancillary pension
benefits will be conditional, as now, on satisfaction of the relevant
special means test../ 2

The terms of reference of the committee will be
" Having in mind the policy of the Government to abolish
the means test within the next three years on age pension
eligibility for residentially qualified men and women aged
years and over, as announced in the 1972 Budget speech,
to report on
1. Matters involved in the implementation of the
abolition of the means test in accordance with the
Government's announcement as set out in the Treasurer's
1972-73 Budget speech.
2. Appropriate ways and means of financing the free-ofmeans
test retirement benefits associated with a possible
national superannuation scheme, including
the type of national superannuation;
the persons to be covered;
whether the scheme of national superannuation
should be voluntary or compulsory.
3. The relationship of the new free-of-means test
retirement benefits and national superannuation ( if any)
to private schemes and to life assurance.
4. The method of adjusting the new benefits over time.
The taxation treatment of the new benefits.
6. Methods of making the administration of the new
scheme as simple as possible.
7. Any associated matters that the committee considers
relevant to the objective of the enquiry."
I am glad to be able to announce that the committee of
three to enquire into these matters will be under the Chairmanship
of Sir Leslie Melville, C. B. E. With him as members of the
committee will be MR T. P. Scott and MR J. E. M. Dixon. On behalf of the
Government, I express our thanks to these gentlemen for agreeing to
undertake this important and substantial task.
CANBERRA

Transcript 2697