Partner Allowance from 1994

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Partner Allowance introduced

Partner Allowance (PA) introduced, replacing additional amount of JSA/NSA or SA paid to recipients with a dependent spouse. PA paid directly to dependent spouse under same rates and conditions as married rate of JSA/NSA or SA and subject to same income and asset tests.


Parenting Allowance (PgA) introduced for partners of JSA/NSA recipients caring for children aged under 16 years, replacing PA for these people. PgA paid at same rate and under same income and assets tests as JSA/NSA married rate. Also absorbed Home Child Care Allowance (HCCA) which became a tax free minimum payment of $61 pf. This minimum payment reduced by income of PgA recipient only and not that of their partner.

Partner Allowance eligibility restricted to dependent spouses aged over 40 years with little or no recent labour market experience. Other spouses ineligible for PgA or PA required to apply for JSA/NSA in their own right.

Concession cards extended to certain PA recipients on same basis as other benefit recipients.


PA eligibility extended to partners of those receiving living allowances under the Austudy, Student Financial Supplement and ABSTUDY schemes


GST compensation

Allowances rates for all recipients increased by four per cent as part of a package of measures to compensate for the impact of the introduction of the GST. Indexation provisions adjusted so that half of this increase was an advance on whatever rate increase occurred in March 2001, leaving an effective long-term increase of two per cent in the allowance rate.


PA closed

No new PA grants. Those unable to apply for PA eligible to apply for NSA. PA to be phased out by 2020.


Income management

Allowances could be subject to income management in the Northern Territory and Cape York. Income management involved diversion of 50 per cent of a recipient’s income support into an account that could only be drawn on to pay for priority needs, such as food, clothes and rent.


Definition of ‘member of a couple’ changed to include same-sex couples.


Disadvantaged income support recipients able to receive payments weekly rather than fortnightly.


Clean Energy Advance paid to compensate those receiving allowances for the expected impact of the Carbon Tax.

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