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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...

Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management and Cashless Welfare) Bill 2019

Income management in Cape York and the cashless debit card trials in all of the current cashless debit card sites except Bundaberg and Hervey Bay are set to end on 30 June 2019. The Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management and Cashless Welfare) Bill 2019 (the Bill) extends income management in Cape York and the expiring cashless debit card trial sites until 30 June 2020 (the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay trial already has an end date of 30 June 2020). The Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, announced a 12 month extension of the Cashless Debit Card in the Ceduna region (South Australia), the East Kimberley region (Western Australia) and the Goldfields reg... Read more...

Social Security Commission Bill 2018

The Social Security Commission Bill 2018 is a private member’s bill introduced by Cathy McGowan, the Member for Indi, on 20 August 2018. The Bill’s purpose is to create an independent commission to review the adequacy of social security payments. While it would make recommendations, it would not be responsible for setting payment rates. In her Second Reading Speech, Ms McGowan said: ‘I believe social security recipients should be able to have a standard of living that allows them to live with dignity.’ The Bill is supported by Rebekha Sharkie, the Centre Alliance member for Mayo. It is opposed by the Government. The then Minister for Social Services, Dan Tehan rejecte... Read more...

New Bill to extend the Farm Household Allowance

On 19 June 2018, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud announced that the Government would extend the time-limit for receipt of the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) from three to four years. The FHA is an income support payment, paid at the same rate as Newstart Allowance (or Youth Allowance if the recipient is aged under 22 years), which supports eligible farmers and their partners who are experiencing financial hardship. A Bill to extend the limit, the Farm Household Support Amendment Bill 2018, was introduced to the Parliament on 20 June 2018. Read more...

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018

This Bill seeks to extend the Cashless Debit Card to the Federal electorate of Hinkler in Queensland, an area that includes Bundaberg and Hervey Bay. As well as specifying the location of the new trial site, the Bill sets out criteria that determine which income support recipients will be required to participate in the trial. It also sets out details of how the trial will be administered in the Hinkler trial site. The Bill also makes some changes that affect the Cashless Debit Card Scheme as a whole. It includes provisions that will ensure merchants are able to decline Cashless Debit Card transactions where the cardholder tries to use the card for gambling, alcohol, or gift ca... Read more...

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