Opposition Youth Allowance Bill inquiry to report next week

Parliament house flag post

Opposition Youth Allowance Bill inquiry to report next week

Posted 4/02/2011 by Coral Dow


An issue facing Parliament on return next week will be the Youth Allowance. The Senate may need to decide if it will debate the Private Member’s Bill introduced by Senator Nash in October last year. The Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Regional Students) Bill 2010 seeks to fulfil a Coalition election commitment to ‘relax the eligibility criteria for the Independent Youth Allowance which will be extended to students in the Inner Regional Category’.
The Government’s reforms of student income support were implemented in March 2010 with the passage of the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Income Support for Students) Bill 2010. The Bill passed after an agreement was reached between the Government and the Opposition which allowed students living in ‘Very Remote’, ‘Remote’ or ‘Outer Regional’ areas to access Youth Allowance under the previous independence test (sometimes referred to as the gap year test) provided they had to leave home to study and met a parental income test of less than $150 000 a year. The National Party were disappointed that inner regional students were not included.

On 16 November 2010, Senator Nash introduced a motion to have standing orders suspended in order to allow for the Bill to be debated. According to Senator Nash, the suspension was necessary because the Bill needed to be ‘dealt with before the end of the year’. The motion was supported by the Opposition and Senator Fielding but opposed by the Government, the Greens and Senator Xenophon and did not pass. The Government, the Greens and Senator Xenophon each argued that the Bill should first be considered by a Senate committee. The Bill has been referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for inquiry and report by 9 February 2011.

The Bill is controversial on a number of grounds including that it overturns an agreement reached with the Government that Inner Regional students not be included with students in the Very Remote, Remote or Outer Regional areas in being able to access Youth Allowance under the broader test for Independent Youth Allowance that prevailed prior to the passage of the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Income Support for Students) Bill 2010 in March 2010.

Key questions raised by the Bill include:
  • how will the Parliament resolve the Constitutional issues associated with the Bill, should this become necessary? In contention is the question of whether the Bill appropriates money and hence whether it contravenes Section 53 of the Constitution (which prohibits the Senate from doing so). An earlier Flagpost discussed the situation as it stood in November. In submissions to the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee inquiry, both the Attorney-General’s Department and the Clerk of the Senate, Dr Rosemary Laing put contrasting positions to the Committee for its consideration
  • does the Bill sufficiently addresses the problem of ensuring adequate income support for students who need it, or are alternative, more fundamental changes required? Concerns about the workforce independence criteria contributing to delayed entry to study or discouraging study altogether for non-metropolitan students have given rise to suggestions for alternative mechanisms. The main alternative canvassed at the committee hearings and elsewhere would involve granting independent status to students who need to move away from home to study. This alternative is favoured by the Australian Greens, which took to the 2010 election a policy to provide for all students required to travel for more than 90 minutes each way to attend university to be entitled to the ‘full rate of Youth Allowance’. This policy has since been costed by the government at $805 million over the four years 2011-15 and released through a FOI request
  • should the measure be funded (as proposed in the Bill) from the Education Infrastructure Fund (EIF), the standing or special appropriation under the Social Security Act or some other mechanism?
These questions are discussed in further detail in the Bills Digest for the Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Regional Students) Bill 2010.

(post co-authored with Luke Buckmaster)

(image sourced from: http://bit.ly/gY5ZjY)


Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.

Add your comment

[Click to expand]

We welcome your comments, or additional information which is relevant to a post. These can be added by clicking on the ‘Add your comment’ option above. Please note that the Parliamentary Library will moderate comments, and reserves the right not to publish comments that are inconsistent with the objectives of FlagPost. This includes spam, profanity and personal abuse, as well as comments that are factually incorrect or politically partisan. We will close comments after three months.




Captcha
Generate a new image
Type characters from the image:

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print

FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament


Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud

Refugees asylum climate change immigration Australian foreign policy parliament social security welfare policy elections welfare reform school education health financing higher education Australian Defence Force emissions trading indigenous Australians women private health insurance people trafficking illicit drugs gambling health reform federal election 2010 United Nations Employment Asia disability income management Middle East Medicare Australian Bureau of Statistics statistics sport health forced labour federal budget Afghanistan Industrial Relations Carbon Pricing Mechanism politics dental health United States aid child protection environment poker machines Australia in the Asian Century Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency steroids World Anti-Doping Agency National Disability Insurance Scheme detention aged care 43rd Parliament slavery health system Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Criminal Law Fair Work Act Australian Public Service governance labour force people smuggling transport debt taxation international relations constitution New Zealand food WADA Australian Crime Commission pharmaceutical benefits scheme pensions public service reform children's health Aviation foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability parliamentary procedure Senate Senators and Members ALP ASADA Newstart Parenting Payment multiculturalism Youth Allowance sea farers social media Higher Education Loan Program HECS federal state relations accountability Papua New Guinea youth paid parental leave same sex relationships corruption coal seam gas customs planning federal election 2013 Australian Electoral Commission doping OECD crime health risks International Women's Day Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery Special Rapporteur Northern Territory Emergency Response social policy welfare ASIO intelligence community terrorist groups Australian Security Intelligence Organisation carbon tax mining High Court military history electoral reform employer employee renewable energy regional unemployment fishing European Union Federal Court family assistance skilled migration banking United Nations Security Council Australian economy forestry food labelling vocational education and training Drugs UK Parliament welfare systems Indonesia children Constitutional reform local government codes of conduct terrorist financing homelessness Parliamentary remuneration money laundering Trafficking in Persons Report energy science social inclusion human rights paternalism Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse terrorism World Trade Organization Australia public health China housing affordability bulk billing political parties water productivity health policy Governor-General US economy trade unions domestic violence export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery firearms question time speaker superannuation public housing election results by-election expertise public policy climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leadership voting Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry regulation Pacific Islands reserved seats research and development new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets animal health middle class welfare ADRV Census Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government referendum consumer laws PISA competition policy royal commission US politics violence against women language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition citizen engagement policymaking Australia Greens servitude Trafficking Protocol forced marriage Population rural and regional mental health alcohol entitlements ministries Hung Parliament social citizenship maritime Iran transparency ANZUS regional students school chaplains federal budget 2011-12 salary Medicare Locals primary care Building the Education Revolution Members of Parliament Scottish referendum early childhood education Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly national security smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid disability employment Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying asylum seekers Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies same-sex marriage disorderly conduct integrity retirement Parliament House standing orders prime ministers election timetable sitting days First speech defence budget submarines workers financial sector Canada Somalia United Kingdom GDP Tasmania world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders live exports infant mortality honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Rent Assistance obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Members suspension workplace health and safety marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament Korea fuel rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing political education Social Inclusion Board early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin sanctions Norway hospitals republic President Barack Obama Presidential visits qantas counselling Korean peninsula Work Choices biosecurity hendra environmental law federalism federation preselection therapeutic goods Therapeutic Goods Administration plebiscites computer games pests suicide nuclear COAG Ministerial Councils floods ADHD stimulant medication advertising electricity extradition standards conscience votes poverty preventative health rural health coastal erosion Parliamentary Budget Office NATO work-life balance

Show all
Show less