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

A stack of gold coins being watched intently by a young woman
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.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print


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

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice




refugees asylum immigration Australian foreign policy Parliament climate change elections women social security Indigenous Australians Australian Bureau of Statistics Employment taxation Sport illicit drugs Medicare welfare reform Australian Defence Force welfare policy Asia income management Middle East criminal law disability Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States higher education people trafficking school education aid statistics Australian Electoral Commission WADA United Nations federal budget health financing emissions trading gambling Australia in the Asian Century steroids detention Private health insurance OECD ASADA labour force transport Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Industrial Relations dental health National Disability Insurance Scheme forced labour Senate election results Papua New Guinea Australian Public Service International Women's Day corruption Fair Work Act child protection people smuggling debt federal election 2013 parliamentary procedure ALP New Zealand Australian Crime Commission Newstart Parenting Payment 43rd Parliament slavery by-election political parties Census constitution High Court skilled migration voting Federal Court terrorist groups Afghanistan Higher Education Loan Program HECS youth Aviation environment foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability customs poker machines doping health crime health risks multiculturalism aged care Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery sea farers leadership United Kingdom UK Parliament Electoral reform politics banking firearms public policy mental health China ADRV terrorism social media pensions welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation governance public service reform Carbon Pricing Mechanism carbon tax mining military history employer employee fishing paid parental leave European Union same sex relationships international relations coal seam gas planning United Nations Security Council Australian economy food vocational education and training Drugs Indonesia children codes of conduct terrorist financing election timetable citizenship Productivity asylum seekers early childhood education Canada Population Financial sector national security fuel violence against women domestic violence disability employment Tasmania integrity science research and development Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse federal state relations World Trade Organization Australia accountability housing affordability bulk billing water renewable energy children's health health policy Governor-General US economy export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation family assistance expertise Senators and Members climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry food labelling Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets health reform Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government local government consumer laws PISA royal commission US politics language education Leaders of the Opposition Parliamentary remuneration health system Australia Greens money laundering servitude Special Rapporteur Trafficking Protocol energy forced marriage rural and regional Northern Territory Emergency Response ministries social citizenship China; Economic policy; Southeast Asia; Africa housing Speaker; House of Representatives; Parliament Defence High Court; Indigenous; Indigenous Australians; Native Title ACT Indigenous education Norfolk Island External Territories emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories workers Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery transparency corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation standards NATO Members of Parliament Scottish referendum 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 public health 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 regional unemployment asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies trade unions same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders public housing prime ministers sitting days First speech defence budget submarines Somalia GDP forestry world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission regulation limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders animal health live exports welfare systems infant mortality middle class welfare 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 Constitutional reform referendum Rent Assistance competition policy pharmaceutical benefits scheme obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days baby bonus DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant homelessness regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Youth Allowance Members suspension citizen engagement policymaking federal election 2010 workplace health and safety Trafficking in Persons Report marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament alcohol Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act entitlements political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing Hung Parliament political education social inclusion Social Inclusion Board maritime early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin Iran sanctions

Show all
Show less
Back to top