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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Senator Wang & Clive Palmer meet students from Western Australia if they are constantly being attacked, if their income and their lives are being slowly diminished by a government that continues to cut away at the small entitlements that they have at the moment? This comes at a time when we have a government that has less debt than the Menzies government had. The Menzies government had a debt of about 40 per cent of GDP. Today it is around about 14 per cent of GDP. Where has that other 30 per cent gone? Why doesn’t the Liberal Party become the party of Bob Menzies, which looked after all Australians? It was a broad church. It provided a rising standard of living. It had expectations that whoever you were, wherever you came from, regardless of how much money you had, you could have a fair go in this country and be looked after. Why do we have to have a persecution philosophy, where we aim at those people who are unable to support themselves or defend themselves when under attack? Why do we constantly attack them? Why don’t we create the sorts of incentives that are needed in this country to provide a rising standard of living for our people? Bob Menzies would be rolling in his grave if he saw the sorts of measures that are coming forward in this parliament to attack those who cannot look after themselves, to attack the pensioners of Australia. The pension, for many people, has been sacrosanct—most important in their sustainment and their lifestyle. I think we have to vote against these measures. We have to support our elderly. We have to support those on a pension and a fixed income. We realise that the figures that the minister quoted today are not extraordinarily high when compared with those of other competing nations that have similar standards of living to our own in Europe and the United States. I will be voting against the measure. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 113


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