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  • New restrictions on disability pensioners travelling overseas

    Posted 26/08/2014 by Michael Klapdor

    In the midst of heated debate over the Budget’s welfare reforms some significant measures have escaped the headlines, including new restrictions on Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients travelling overseas. The measures, proposed by the Social Services and Other Legislation (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014, will reduce the time disability pensioners can spend overseas from six-weeks at a time to four weeks in a 12-month period. A number of submissions to the Senate committee inquiry into the Bill, from individual DSP recipients and from welfare groups, took issue with the changes suggesting that DSP was being unfairly targeted and that the measures would increase red tape.

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    TAGS: disability, welfare policy, social security, pensions

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  • Social services budget bills propose major changes to welfare

    Posted 22/08/2014 by Luke Buckmaster
    The 2014-15 federal budget included proposals for major changes in the social services portfolio, including payments to the unemployed, aged, people with disability and families with children. With most of these measures being introduced through two large and complex pieces of social services legislation, there is likely to be some confusion about the changes being made and which changes are being introduced where. This FlagPost provides a brief outline of what is in each of the social services ... Read more...

    TAGS: social security, social services, welfare

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  • Pension indexation: a brief history

    Posted 16/04/2014 by Michael Klapdor
    In the lead-up to the Coalition Government’s first Budget, speculation has focused on possible changes to the age pension, including adjusting the way pension rates are indexed. Indexation is a complex and important component of the Australian social security system but one that is often misunderstood. The following provides an explanation and brief history of indexation. How pension rates are adjusted Currently, pensions (including the Age Pension, Service Pension, Disability Support Pe... Read more...

    TAGS: pensions,welfare policy,welfare reform,social security

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  • What’s happening with the McClure welfare review?

    Posted 19/03/2014 by Luke Buckmaster
    The Government is conducting a review into welfare payments, headed by former Mission Australia CEO, Patrick McClure. This post briefly outlines what is currently known about the McClure review, including its objectives, processes and possible outcomes. Late in 2013, it was reported that McClure had been asked to provide recommendations on streamlining and improving Australia’s system of welfare payments. While initially it was thought that the review would examine the entire system, the ... Read more...

    TAGS: welfare policy, welfare reform, social security

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  • Growth in Age Pension receipt: the elephant in the room of the welfare reform debate

    Posted 24/01/2014 by Carol Ey
    The Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, has recently expressed concern at the continued growth in the number of people in receipt of income support payments, and suggested that the welfare system is unsustainable. He has therefore commissioned Patrick McClure to undertake a review of the welfare system. Mr McClure’s previous review led to the Welfare to Work changes in 2006. However a closer investigation of the figures, released by the Department of Social Security, suggests that welfare receipt among those of working age is already declining, and hence the scope to make further large reductions may be limited. However Age Pension take up rates continue to increase. Read more...

    TAGS: social security, welfare reform

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  • Payments to support victims of overseas terrorism

    Posted 14/10/2013 by Michael Klapdor
    Image: 2002 Bali Bombing Memorial
    Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently announced that victims of past overseas terrorist attacks would be entitled to an Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment (AVTOP), worth up to $75,000. The AVTOP was created in 2012 under the Gillard Government. Many of those affected by previous attacks have received some form of assistance from the Australian Government including coverage of medical costs and counselling/rehabilitation—the AVTOP provides a new formal mechanism for delivering monetary... Read more...

    TAGS: social security, terrorism

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  • Future growth in DSP receipt—not all bad news

    Posted 9/10/2013 by Carol Ey
    No doubt one of the priorities of the proposed review of income support payments will be the Disability Support Pension (DSP). DSP numbers have risen substantially in recent decades, despite numerous reforms designed to tighten eligibility and hence restrict growth. However a recent paper suggests that changes made to other income support payments have offset these reforms, and that the story is more positive than previous reports suggest.The factors behind DSP growthThe paper examines the facto... Read more...

    TAGS: disability, social security

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  • ‘Grandfather’ arrangements for PPS – entitlement or inequity?

    Posted 11/04/2013 by Carol Ey
    Since it was announced in the 2012-13 Budget that ‘grandfathering’ arrangements for single parents receiving Parenting Payment Single (PPS) would cease on 1 January 2013, there has been considerable concern expressed at the plight of these recipients who would see their weekly income support payments reduced by over $130 per fortnight for those on the maximum rate, and in some cases not be entitled to any income support and associated benefits if they had high enough earnings. However there appe... Read more...

    TAGS: Newstart, Parenting Payment, social security

    Comments (1)
  • Who is on Newstart?

    Posted 27/08/2012 by Carol Ey
    Image source: British Library
    Given the current Senate Committee inquiry into the adequacy of the allowance payment system for jobseekers and others it is perhaps worth considering what sort of people are reliant on these payments? Recent data released by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs enables us to explore the characteristics of those receiving these allowances as at June 2011.What allowances are people receiving?The major payment for jobseekers is Newstart Allowance (NSA). Ot... Read more...

    TAGS: Newstart, Parenting Payment, social security, Youth Allowance

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  • Despite the GFC, income support reliance remains low

    Posted 15/08/2012 by Carol Ey
    Image source: Western Australian Department of Health
    The Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee is currently holding two separate but related enquiries, one into the adequacy of the allowance payment system for jobseekers and others, and the other into legislation to remove the ‘grandfathering’ transitional arrangements for parenting payment recipients (among other changes).In this context, it is timely to look at the impact of previous changes to the welfare system and consider what proportion of the working age population... Read more...

    TAGS: Newstart, Parenting Payment, social security

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