Senate debates

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Questions without Notice: Additional Answers

Pensions and Benefits

7:43 pm

Photo of Jonathon DuniamJonathon Duniam (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries) Share this | | Hansard source

I present the response to a question taken on notice during question time on 8 December 2020, asked by Senator Kitching, relating to pensions and benefits. I seek leave to have the response to the question taken on notice incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The response read as follows—

Dear Mr President

I write with regard to a question I took on notice from Senator Kitching during Question Time, Tuesday 8 December 2020, on the matter of pensions and benefits.

I am advised that these questions go to allegations made by the Applicants in the class action in relation to the Income Compliance Program that is currently before the Federal Court as part of their Second Further Amended Statement of Claim (SFASOC). The Government rejects the allegations from the Applicants and, as the litigation is still before the Court, the Government will not be commenting further.

Both the Applicants and their solicitors, Gordon Legal, acknowledge that the Commonwealth's agreement to settle the matter is not an admission of liability by 1he Commonwealth, and does not reflect any acceptance by the Commonwealth of the allegations that the Commonwealth, or any of its officers, had any knowledge of unlawfulness associated with the income compliance program.

I have copied this letter to the Prime Minister, Minister Robert and Senator Kitching.

Yours sincerely

Simon Birmingham Minister for Finance

9 December 2020