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Farm Household Support Amendment (Debt Waiver) Bill 2021

The Farm Household Support Amendment (Debt Waiver) Bill 2021 (the Bill) amends the Farm Household Support Act 2014 (the FHS Act) to permanently waive the repayment of certain classes of debt owed by Farm Household Allowance (FHA) recipients. These debts have arisen as a result of overpayments of the FHA due to inaccurate estimates of business income provided by claimants. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the amendments in the Bill will have a total financial cost of $65.6 million, including $51.0 million in foregone revenue from debts that would otherwise have been repaid (p. 2). In his second reading speech, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar stated that the Bill will provide debt r... Read more...

Why most pension and benefit rates will not be increased in September 2020

On 20 March and 20 September of each year, the rates of most social security payments are usually increased in order to maintain their real value over time—this process is known as indexation. Pensions, unlike other payments, can also be adjusted to maintain their rate relative to average earnings. On 20 September 2020, for the first time in more than 20 years, the rates of pensions and payments such as JobSeeker Payment will not increase. This is because some of the indices used to adjust these payments have declined. Read more...

Creating unemployment benefits

With the Senate Community Affairs Committee holding an inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart Allowance and an ongoing debate over the cashless debit card, it’s worth revisiting the origins of unemployment benefits in Australia. Read more...

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