Social Security Payments for the Unemployed, the Sick and those in Special Circumstances, 1942 to 2006


Chronology Index

Social Policy Section

Social Security Payments for the Unemployed, the Sick and those in Special Circumstances, 1942 to 2006

Dale Daniels- Social Policy Section

Last updated 5 July 2006

This Chronology is issued electronically. It will be kept up-to-date online. The date of the latest update is noted clearly above.

All enquiries: Dale Daniels, Research Specialist.

 

Introduction

The Social Policy Group of Information and Research Services has produced for many years chronologies dealing with the history of Social Security Payments. Until recently they were in the form of four papers with the following titles:

Social Security Payments: 1 - Children, 1912 to 1995
Social Security Payments: 2 - The Unemployed, the Sick and those in Special Circumstances, 1945 to 1995
Social Security Payments: 3 - Sole Parents and Widowed People, 1942 to 1995
Social Security Payments for the Aged, 1909 to 1998

This electronic document is part of a new series updated annually. The other electronic chronologies in the series are:

Payments for sole parents are included in the document dealing with payments for people caring for children and those for widowed people are included in this document. 

The Department of Social Security (DSS) makes, or has made in the past, a number of payments for able bodied work force aged people. This paper traces the history of each of these payments from their introduction to the present day.

A brief history is provided to put the various payments into a broader context. A series of chronologies setting out the changes over time to each of the major payments treated follows. This paper is not a definitive treatment of the history of social security in Australia. It is a reference tool for those needing to locate specific changes quickly and place them in their chronological context.

The date from which measures take effect has been used to date changes. This means that certain measures which may have taken effect under one Government may have actually been legislated for under the previous Government. Where changes have been recently announced but not passed into law by the Parliament, they are placed according to the expected date of effect. Many changes that appear at the time of updating to be of minor importance and small administrative modifications to payments have not been included.

Rates of payment are generally not given in the text, but can be found in the tables. In the text, imperial currency is used until 1966 and decimal currency is used after that date. In the tables decimal currency is used throughout.

Note on Sources and further reading

In addition to the Commonwealth Budget Papers and Social Security legislation, the following publications have been used in the preparation of this paper:

T. Carney and P. Hanks, Social security in Australia. Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1994.

Department of Social Security, Annual report, various years.

Department of Social Security, 'Developments in social security: a compendium of legislative changes since 1908', Research and Statistics Branch Research Paper no. 20, AGPS, Canberra, 1983.

T. H. Kewley, Social security in Australia 190072, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1973.

T. H. Kewley, Australian social security today: major developments from 1900 to 1978, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1980.

List of Acronyms

AB

Additional Benefit for Children

AFP

Additional Family Payment

ALP

Australian Labor Party

AP

Additional Pension for Children

BA

Bereavement Allowance

BFP

Basic Family Payment

CA

Child's Allowance

CDA

Child Disability Allowance

CE

Child Endowment

CES

Commonwealth Employment Service

CPI

Consumer Price Index

DOP

Double Orphan's Pension

DSS

Department of Social Security

FA

Family Allowance

FAS

Family Allowance Supplement

FIS

Family Income Supplement

HCA

Handicapped Child's Allowance

HCCA

Home Child Care Allowance

JSA

Job Search Allowance

LCP

Liberal PartyCountry Party Coalition

LNCP

Liberal PartyNational Country Party Coalition (Liberal PartyNational Party Coalition from October 1982)

MA

Maternity Allowance

MAA

Mature Age Allowance

MAPA

Mature Age Partner Allowance

NatCP

NationalistCountry Party Coalition

MGA

Mother's/Guardian's Allowance

NSA

Newstart Allowance

PA

Partner Allowance

PgA

Parenting Allowance

PRS

Parliamentary Research Service

RA

Rent Assistance

RAA

Remote Area Allowance

SA

Sickness Allowance

SB

Sickness Benefit

SpB

Special Benefit

SMB

Supporting Mother's Benefit

SPP

Sole Parent Pension

UB

Unemployment Benefit

UAPCP

United Australia PartyCountry Party Coalition

WA

Widow Allowance

Wpa

Widow's Pension Class A

WPb

Widow's Pension Class B

WPc

Widow's Pension Class C

WPA

Widowed Person Allowance

A Brief History

The Context for the Introduction of Benefits

Prior to the depression of the 1930s the only assistance for unemployed people was provided by charitable bodies, with assistance from state governments, consisting of food relief funded at ministerial discretion. Government public works programs were the other main source of help for the unemployed. The shortcomings of these measures became apparent during the Depression. They were poorly administered, unable to cope with the numbers involved, destructive of the dignity of those needing assistance and extremely parsimonious.

The Depression experience ensured a favourable reception when in 1943 the Curtin Government announced its decision to introduce unemployment, sickness and special benefits. Contributory unemployment insurance schemes had been developed in the UK in the 1920s and in the USA in the late 1930s. In Australia the insurance approach was rejected in favour of a flat rate payment available to all the unemployed.

Legislation was passed in 1944 and the benefits came into operation in July 1945. Sickness benefits were an entirely new form of assistance, never having been offered by the States. Private provision through friendly societies had been the main means of providing for temporary incapacity.

The Introduction of Widow Pensions

Income support for widows and some sole parents was introduced in 1942 by the Curtin Government. Curtin had included a commitment to introduce pensions for widows in his 1940 election campaign policy speech. This form of income support had been included in most proposals from all sides of politics to expand the Commonwealth's involvement in income support since age and invalid pensions were introduced in 1909 and 1910 respectively. Unlike widow pensions introduced in the UK in 1925 and the USA in 1939, the Australian widow pension was not a contributory insurance-based payment and was therefore available to all widows who qualified under the means test. The structure of the new payment was drawn from the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Social Security which had been asked in 1941 by the Menzies Government to inquire into widow pensions. Consequently the legislation received bipartisan support.

From the beginning the name of the payment was misleading. It was designed to assist women who had lost a partner and could not be expected to engage in employment due to child care responsibilities or age. Not all women in this category were eligible. De facto widows, deserted wives, divorced women and women whose husbands were in institutions for the insane were included but single mothers, wives of prisoners, women deserted by de facto husbands and women who had deserted their husband or agreed to separate were excluded. These exclusions reflected the influence on legislators of contemporary moral standards as did the requirement that pensioners be of 'good character' and 'deserving of a pension'. An indication of the public attitude to such assistance can be found in the protests from some conservative women's groups about the provision of assistance to de facto widows. Such assistance was condemned as encouraging adultery and undermining the institution of marriage.

Three types of Widow Pension were introduced in 1942. Widows with children were given a class A pension while they had a dependent child. Those without children were given a class B pension until retirement age if they were aged 50 years or older. Those without children and not old enough for a class B pension were given a class C pension for 26 weeks immediately after the death of their husband.

Early Responses to Unemployment Growth

The scheme as originally implemented was designed for a labour market where full-time employment for a mainly male work-force was the norm, only short periods of unemployment needed to be catered for and benefit levels could be kept low so as to avoid disincentives to work. Until the 1970s few changes were needed to the original legislation. The great increase in the number of beneficiaries and the duration of their receipt of benefits that occurred during the following decades resulted in considerable development of the legislation.

Initially the benefit system was modified in various ways without its basic form being changed in any fundamental way. Under the Fraser Government the emphasis was on tightening eligibility requirements to prevent abuses and increase work incentives. Waiting periods before a benefit could be paid were introduced for school leavers and the voluntarily unemployed in 1976. Proof of identity procedures were tightened in 1977. The type and location of employment that unemployed people could be expected to accept was greatly extended in 1979. This policy direction continued under the Hawke Government.

The Active Employment Strategy

New directions for reform were placed firmly on the agenda in the mid1980s by the Social Security Review conducted by Professor Cass. For the unemployed the main area of change involved the development of the work test which had applied from the introduction of the benefit into an activity test. First introduced for the young unemployed when Job Search Allowance was introduced in 1988, it was extended to all unemployment beneficiaries when Job Search and Newstart Allowances were introduced in 1991. The new approach involved greater obligations on the beneficiary to participate in programs to improve 'job readiness' and subsidised employment programs.

Sickness Benefit was also reformed in 1991 with the introduction of Sickness Allowance. Duration on a benefit was restricted in most cases to one year with provision for extension of duration in limited circumstances.

Payments for those under 21 years of age were reformed during this period. Rates of payment were aligned with education-related income support. Parental income and assets were taken into account for the youngest beneficiaries. Payments designed to assist homeless young people were introduced.

The End of Widow Pensions

The Hawke Government commenced a complete recasting of widow and sole parent payments in 1987 with the phasing out of Widow Pension class B. Changing perceptions about the role of women and increases in the workforce participation of older women were beginning to make the payment redundant. A phasing out period of 15 years was provided for in the expectation that this would prevent any adverse consequences for older widows. However the employment situation of older women deteriorated during the recession of the early 1990s. This prompted the announcement in 1994 of a Widow Allowance for women widowed after the age of 50 years with little workforce experience as a means of reducing the impact of the phasing out of Widow Pension class B.

Also in 1989 the remaining Widow Pension, class C, was renamed Widowed Person Allowance and eligibility was extended to widowers as well as widows both de jure and de facto. In 1994 this new payment was renamed Bereavement Allowance.

The demise of the various widow pensions marked the end of a transition from payments for 'respectable' widows with a few categories of less reputable sole parents hidden under the umbrella term widow pension, to payments based on the objective fact recent death of a partner.

Working Nation

The 1994 white paper entitled Working Nation announced further reforms to benefits for the unemployed as part of a larger package of measures to assist the long-term unemployed. These changes were designed to reduce disincentives to seek employment imposed by the income test upon both beneficiaries and their spouses and to provide direct assistance for spouses of beneficiaries who were not in the labour force.

The White Paper included a further change to youth payments with the introduction of the Youth Training Allowance from January 1995. This change involved the transfer of income support for all under-18 year olds to the Department of Employment, Education and Training. The aim was closer integration of unemployment and education-related income support for young people.

Mutual Obligation

In 1997 the 'Work for the Dole' scheme was introduced as the first part of a broader 'Mutual Obligation' approach to the structure of income support and support programs for unemployed people. Mutual Obligation was based on a concept that welfare assistance provided to the unemployed of working age should involve some return responsibilities for the recipient. Initially aimed at young unemployed the concept was gradually extended to most unemployed people and also to those receiving payments because of their responsibilities for caring for children. More detail on Mutual Obligation and the Work for the Dole Scheme is available in the Mutual Obligation/Work for the Dole e-brief.

Youth Allowance

In 1998 income support for young people was reformed with the introduction of a single payment for full-time students and unemployed young people. Parental support requirements were strengthened, rates of payment standardised for all young people and disincentives to study addressed.

Welfare to Work Reforms

In 2006 parents with school age children and people with disabilities who could do part-time work were paid Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance with reduced participation requirements. They would formerly have been paid Parenting Payment or Disability Support Pension. These changes were designed to achieve greater workforce involvement for these groups.

Table 1: Numbers of Recipients of Payments for the Unemployed, the Sick and those in Special Circumstances, from 1943

(000s)

At 30 June

Unemployment benefits
(a)

Sickness benefits
(b)

Special benefits

Other Special Circumstances benefits (c)

1943

-

-

-

22 188

1944

-

-

-

26 113

1945

-

-

-

28 880

1946

6 873

6 920

196

28 890

1947

6 208

9 483

456

26 053

1948

1 838

9 940

949

25 299

1949

1 151

12 000

5 059

25 371

1950

1 226

12 941

5 244

25 148

1951

604

7 044

921

24 254

1952

8 060

6 378

1 148

27 395

1953

25 914

8 135

1 985

23 064

1954

6 083

7 802

1 852

22 642

1955

2 679

7 905

2 045

22 878

1956

7 003

7 244

1 947

23 436

1957

18 071

6 845

1 971

24 768

1958

29 418

8 001

2 149

25 958

1959

27 528

8 473

2 264

27 410

1960

16 541

8 569

2 258

28 682

1961

54 254

8 536

2 356

30 945

1962

46 324

10 270

2 391

32 252

1963

38 188

10 876

2 468

33 216

1964

18 129

10 776

2 577

34 753

1965

12 656

10 187

2 423

35 685

1966

19 482

10 004

2 310

36 810

1967

24 002

9 949

2 136

38 364

1968

21 275

9 370

2 665

39 170

1969

15 910

8 185

4 187

39 859

1970

13 043

8 813

3 804

42 857

1971

19 411

10 516

4 185

43 253

1972

38 647

13 382

4 163

42 973

1973

37 317

18 520

4 312

47 845

1974

30 837

21 862

5 099

51 226

1975

157 948

24 544

5 330

54 274

1976

183 338

30 533

7 300

58 482

1977

243 884

32 065

8 757

63 426

1978

282 174

34 548

11 779

67 564

1979

312 924

33 340

13 744

72 064

1980

310 004

40 191

21 121

75 040

1981

330 834

48 875

19 500

77 824

1982

535 499

50 350

16 659

79 291

1983

619 882

62 668

20 525

80 345

1984

581 720

62 501

18 141

81 869

1985

559 237

62 030

18 582

81 637

1986

568 716

64 136

18 136

81 443

1987

553 653

70 232

19 706

82 244

1988

478 049

75 189

22 592

86 802

1989

389 794

79 017

24 291

83 642

1990

419 785

79 851

27 581

78 947

1991

676 705

72 647

30 102

74 439

1992

851 831

43 641

35 042

69 408

1993

913 770

45 226

28 503

64 716

1994

878 278

45 848

25 542

335 255

1995

822 570

47 050

20 440

334 570

1996

853 262

34 518

18 885

189 434

1997

831 954

15 633

14 700

167 281

1998

820 562

16 285

10 236

171 267

1999

739 525

11 181

11 808

165 562

2000

672 319

10 733

10 971

170 751

2001

703 406

10 942

12 495

169 546

2002

674 829

9 522

13 091

188 911

2003

633 629

8 927

12 228

190 139

2004
602 736
8 900
11 216
171 095
2005
568 474
8 400
9 408
139 178
2006
549 491
not yet available
not yet available
119 000

Notes:

(a) From 1992 Job Search Allowance and Newstart Allowance, from 1995 Job Search Allowance, Newstart Allowance and Youth Training Allowance, from 1997 Newstart Allowance, from 1999 Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other than full-time students)

(b) From 1992 Sickness Allowance

(c) From 1942 Widow Pension Class B, from 1942 to 1989 Widow Pension Class C, from 1989 to 1994 Widowed Person's Allowance, from 1995 Bereavement Allowance, from 1995 Widow Allowance, from 1994 Partner Allowance, from 1994 Mature Age Allowance and from 1994 to 1995 Mature Age Partner Allowance.

Widow Pension class B from 1942

Commencement Date Details Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation

Widows' Pensions Act 1942 (No 19 of 1942)

1942

From June, as part of a broader scheme of widows' pensions, Widows' Pension class B (WPb) was paid to widows without dependent children who were 50 years of age and over. The term 'widow' included de facto widows who had been living with the deceased spouse for at least three years prior to his death and had been maintained by him. Eligibility was also given to deserted de jure wives who had been deserted for at least six months, divorced women who had not remarried and women whose husbands were in hospitals for the insane.

Claimants were required to be resident in Australia and to have resided in Australia continuously for a period of five years immediately prior to their application. Aliens and the indigenous people of Australia, Africa, the Pacific and New Zealand were excluded from eligibility. This exclusion did not apply to Aboriginal people who were exempt from state laws 'relating to the control of Aboriginal natives' or who lived in a state where such exemptions did not exist and who were eligible on the grounds of 'character, intelligence and development'.

The rates of payment which have applied since 1942 are set out in Table 2 . A means test was applied to WPb. Property above the value of 400 pounds excluded a widow from eligibility. Changes in the allowable property value since 1942 are set out in Table 3 . Homes, furniture and personal effects were excluded from the calculation of this property value. Possession of property above the value of 50 pounds resulted in the reduction of the annual rate of pension by one pound for every ten pounds in excess of 50 pounds. The pension payable was also reduced by an amount equivalent to any income in excess of 32 pounds ten shillings per annum. Changes in this permissible income level since 1942 are set out in Table 3 . WPb was paid four-weekly in arrears and the rate was subject to quarterly adjustment according to movements in the retail price index. For the history of means testing see Means Testing.

From July WPb was exempted from income tax.

Curtin, ALP

1944

From April quarterly adjustment of rates was abolished.

 

1947

WPb was paid fortnightly.

Women whose husbands were imprisoned for six months or more and were over 50 years of age were eligible for a class D pension. The class D pension was essentially the same as a class B pension for this group of women.

New recipients of a War Widow's Pension were no longer eligible for WPb. Those already receiving both pensions were subject to transitional arrangements.

Chifley, ALP

1950

From August a Pensioner Medical Service providing free general practitioner services and medicines was introduced.

Menzies, LCP

1952

From September the residence requirement was reduced to one year where the couple were living permanently in Australia at the time of death.

 

1956

WPb was made payable to widows who were at least 45 years of age and had lost eligibility for a Widows' Pension class A (WPa) because their youngest child was no longer under 16 years of age.

 

1958

From October Supplementary Assistance of 10 shillings per week became available to widows paying rent.

 

1960

From February most restrictions on the eligibility of Aboriginal people were removed.

Widow Pension class D was abolished and recipients aged 50 years and over made eligible to receive WPb.

 

1964

From October telephone rental concessions, reducing annual rental costs by one third, were introduced for pensioners.

 

1966

From September the remaining provisions preventing Aboriginals living a nomadic lifestyle from receiving a pension were repealed.

Pensions became payable to aliens.

Holt, LCP

1968

From September the residency requirement for eligibility for WPb was removed where the widow and her husband had been permanent residents at the time of the death of the husband.

A vocational training scheme for WPb pensioners was introduced.

Gorton, LCP

1969

Women widowed outside of Australia became eligible for pension on returning to Australia if they had lived in Australia for 10 years continuously at any time.

 

1971

From April rates of pension were increased, but the full increase was restricted to full rate pensioners. Those receiving a pension within 50 cents of the full rate were allowed only half of the increase and all others received no increase.

From October rates increased again on the same basis as in April, with the difference that the half increase went to those receiving pension within $1.00 of the full rate.

McMahon, LCP

1972

From April rates of pension increased and those who had received less than the full increases in 1971 were given increases to bring them into line with those who had received increases.

 

1973

From July WPb paid to women of age pension age was made taxable.

Whitlam, ALP

1974

From October the vocational training scheme for widows was incorporated into the National Employment and Training system (NEAT).

From November women who were widowed while overseas were given eligibility for WPb on their return to Australia provided they had continuously resided in Australia for at least 10 years at any time.

 

1975

From July the Pensioner Medical Service was superseded by eligibility for a range of medical services under Medibank.

From October WPb was not paid to a widow living with a man as his wife though not legally married to him.

 

1976

From July WPb was subject to income tax.

From November automatic six-monthly rate increases in May and November, in line with movements in the consumer price index, were introduced for the basic pension rate.

Fraser, LNCP

1978

From November automatic rate increases were made annually in November.

 

1980

From May automatic rate increases were once again made six-monthly in May and November.

 

1986

From December rate increases took place in December and June rather than November and May as had previously been the case.

Hawke, ALP

1987

From January dual eligibility for pensions and for Commonwealth education payments was ended. Pensioners studying full-time were eligible for an educational supplement of $15 per week.

New grants of WPb were restricted to two groups of women. The first group was those women with children who were aged 45 years and over at 1 July 1987, who received or subsequently received SPB or WPa. The second group was those women aged 50 years and over at 1 July 1987 who were or subsequently became widows. This change would ensure that WPb would be phased out over the subsequent 15 years.

From November an earnings credit system was introduced. Pensioners could save up unused portions of the income test free area to a limit of $1000. When income exceeded the free area the credit was reduced until totally depleted. The normal income test then applied again.

 

1988

From January fringe benefit entitlement could be retained for three months after income exceeded the income test limit by no more than 25 per cent.

 

1989

From November the timing of indexation of the rate of SPP was brought forward in several stages to March and September. (This process was completed in September 1990.)

 

1991

From January WPb recipients were required to supply their tax file number.

 

1992

From January the AUSTUDY supplement of $60 per fortnight for pensioners studying full-time was extended to those studying part time.

From July telephone allowance of $51.80 per household per year replaced the telephone rental voucher scheme.

Keating, ALP

1993

From January an education entry payment of $200 was introduced for WPb recipients who qualified for the education supplement.

From April eligibility for fringe benefits was extended to all part-rate pensioners.

 

1996

From July WPb recipients were able to receive an advance payment of their allowance of from $250 to $1000 in certain situations. Their allowance was reduced over the subsequent six to 12 months to allow repayment of the advance payment.

Howard, Lib - NP

1997

From January advance payments were restricted to amounts of up to $500 and limited to one each twelve months.

No new grants of WPb were made after 20 March. Recipients of WPb were to be transferred to Age Pension automatically on reaching age pension age provided they and their partners had been Australian residents at the time that the WPb recipient was widowed.

 

2000

From July the rate of pension was increased as part of a package of measures to compensate for the impact of the introduction of the GST. A pension supplement equivalent to 4 per cent of the maximum rate at July 2000 was paid to all pensioners. Indexation provisions were adjusted so that half of this 4 per cent increase would effectively be an advance on whatever rate increase occurred in March 2001. The increased rate was provided as a supplement so that it would not be included when the pension rate was adjusted in line with the benchmark of 25 per cent of MTAWE. This ensured that the maximum rate of pension plus the supplement would always be somewhat more than 25 per cent of MTAWE.

 

Widow Pension class C, 1942 to 1989, Widowed Person Allowance, 1989 to 1995, Bereavement Allowance from 1995

Commencement Date Details Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation

Widows' Pensions Act 1942 (No 19 of 1942)

1942

From June, as part of a broader scheme of widow pensions, a temporary allowance of one pound five shillings per week was available to widows under 50 years of age during the first 26 weeks after the death of their husbands. De jure widows and de facto widows who had lived with the deceased man for three years were eligible.

Claimants were required to be resident in Australia and to have resided in Australia continuously for a period of five years immediately prior to their application. Aliens and the indigenous people of Australia, Africa, the Pacific and New Zealand were excluded from eligibility. This exclusion did not apply to Aboriginal people who were exempt from state laws 'relating to the control of Aboriginal natives' or who lived in a state where such exemptions did not exist and who were eligible on the grounds of 'character, intelligence and development'.

Rate changes over the years are set out in Table 2 . A test of hardship was applied. Liquid assets above 50 pounds (after the payment of funeral expenses) disqualified a widow from receiving the allowance. The allowance was paid four-weekly in arrears and the rate was subject to quarterly adjustment according to movements in the retail price index. For the history of means testing see Means Testing.

From July the temporary allowance was exempted from income tax.

Curtin, ALP

1944

From April quarterly adjustment of rates was abolished.

 

1947

From July Temporary Allowance was now termed Widows' Pension class C (WPc).

WPc was paid fortnightly.

Chifley, ALP

1950

From August a Pensioner Medical Service scheme provided free general practitioner services and medicines.

Menzies, LCP

1952

From September WPc recipients who were pregnant to their deceased husbands were made eligible for WPc until they gave birth.

The residence requirement was reduced to one year where the couple were living permanently in Australia at the time of the death of the husband.

 

1958

From October Supplementary Assistance of 10 shillings per week became available to widows paying rent.

 

1960

From February most restrictions on the eligibility of Aboriginal people were removed.

 

1968

From February the residency requirement was removed where a widow and her husband had been permanent residents at the time of death.

Gorton, LCP

1969

From September women widowed outside Australia became eligible for pension on returning to Australia if they had lived in Australia for 10 years continuously at any time.

 

1975

From October WPc was not paid to a widow living with a man as his wife though not legally married to him.

Whitlam, ALP

1976

From July WPc was subject to income tax.

From October automatic six-monthly rate increases, in line with movements in the CPI, were introduced.

Fraser, LNCP

1978

From November automatic rate increases were made annually.

 

1980

From May automatic rate increases were once again made six-monthly.

 

1986

From December rate increases took place in December and June rather than November and May as had previously been the case.

Hawke, ALP

1989

From March WPc was replaced by Widowed Person's Allowance (WPA). Widowed people, both male and female, were eligible for the allowance for the 14 weeks after the date of the death of their spouse. Widows who were pregnant at the time of the death of their spouse could receive the allowance until the birth. De jure and de facto marriages were treated equally. No other pension, benefit or allowance could be paid concurrently and the pension assets and income tests applied.

 

1993

From April eligibility for fringe benefits was extended to all part-rate pensioners.

Keating, ALP

1995

From January refugees were not required to live in Australia for a set period to qualify for the pension.

Widowed Person's Allowance was renamed Bereavement Allowance (BA).

 

2000

From July the rate of pension was increased as part of a package of measures to compensate for the impact of the introduction of the GST. A pension supplement equivalent to 4 per cent of the maximum rate at July 2000 was paid to all pensioners. Indexation provisions were adjusted so that half of this 4 per cent increase would effectively be an advance on whatever rate increase occurred in March 2001. The increased rate was provided as a supplement so that it would not be included when the pension rate was adjusted in line with the benchmark of 25 per cent of MTAWE. This ensured that the maximum rate of pension plus the supplement would always be somewhat more than 25 per cent of MTAWE.

Howard, Lib-NP

Table 2: Weekly Rates of Pension for Widows, from 1942

($ per week)

Date of effect

Rate

27.07.42

2.50

17.11.42

2.55

09.02.43

2.60

04.05.43

2.65

21.09.43

2.70

16.10.45

(a)2.70

08.07.47

(b)3.20

25.10.48

(c)3.70

07.11.50

(d)4.20

06.11.51

5.00

07.10.52

5.50

05.11.53

5.75

01.11.55

6.75

29.10.57

7.50

13.10.59

8.25

11.10.60

8.75

10.10.61

9.25

08.10.63

10.25

06.10.64

10.75

04.10.66

11.75

01.10.68

12.50

30.09.69

13.25

29.09.70

13.75

13.04.71

14.25

12.10.71

15.25

25.04.72

16.00

10.10.72

17.25

05.12.72

21.50

09.10.73

23.00

26.03.74

26.00

13.08.74

31.00

06.05.75

36.00

13.11.75

38.75

13.05.76

41.25

11.11.76

43.50

12.05.77

47.10

10.11.77

49.30

11.05.78

51.45

09.11.78

53.20

08.11.79

57.90

08.05.80

61.05

06.11.80

64.10

07.05.81

66.65

05.11.81

69.70

06.05.82

74.15

04.11.82

77.25

05.05.83

82.35

03.11.83

85.90

03.05.84

89.40

01.11.84

91.90

02.05.85

94.30

14.11.85

97.90

01.05.86

102.10

25.12.86

106.20

25.06.87

112.15

24.12.87

116.10

23.06.88

120.05

22.12.88

124.25

22.06.89

129.20

23.11.89

133.60

26.04.90

141.20

27.09.90

145.85

28.03.91

150.80

26.03.92

153.05

28.01.93

156.05

19.09.93

158.10

20.03.94

159.05

20.09.94

160.70

20.03.95

163.05

20.09.95

335.90

20.03.96

342.60

20.09.96

346.40

20.03.97

347.80

20.03.98

354.60

20.09.98

357.30

20.03.99

361.40

20.09.99

366.50

20.03.00

372.00

20.07.00

386.90

20.09.00

394.10

20.03.01

402.00

20.09.01

410.50

20.03.02

421.80

20.09.02

429.40

20.03.03

440.30

20.09.03

452.80

20.03.04
464.20
20.09.04
470.70
20.03.05
476.30
20.09.05
488.90
20.03.06
499.70

Notes:
(a) $3.25 for class C
(b) $3.75 for class C and $3.20 for class D
(c) $4.25 for class C and $3.70 for class D
(d) $4.75 for class C and $4.20 for class D

 

Chronologies are written for Members of Parliament, being located on the Internet they can be read by members of the public, however some linked items are available to Members of Parliament only, due to copyright reasons.

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