Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015

Bills Digest no. 78 2015–16

PDF version  [668KB]

WARNING: This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Don Arthur
Social Policy Section
1 October 2015

 

Contents

The Bills Digest at a glance
Purpose
Background
Committee consideration
Policy position of non-government parties/independents
Position of major interest groups
Financial implications
Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights
Key issues and provisions

 

Date introduced:  2 December 2015
House:  House of Representatives
Portfolio:  Social Services
Commencement: Sections 1 to 3 and Schedule 4 commence on Royal Assent.  Schedules 2 and 3 commence on 1 January 2016 and Schedule 1 on 1 January 2017.

Links: The links to the Bill, its Explanatory Memorandum and second reading speech can be found on the Bill’s home page, or through the Australian Parliament website.

When Bills have been passed and have received Royal Assent, they become Acts, which can be found at the ComLaw website.

The Bills Digest at a glance

  • The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015 reintroduces four savings measures previously included in earlier Bills.
  • The Government announced the first measure, earlier proportional payment of pensions outside Australia (Schedule 1), in the 2015 budget. The remaining three measures, which were first announced in the 2014 budget, are:
    • cease pensioner education supplement (Schedule 2)
    • cease education entry payment (Schedule 3) and
    • pausing indexation for three years of:
      • the income free areas for all working age allowances (other than student payments) and for parenting payment single
      • the income free areas and other means test thresholds for student payments, including student income bank limits (Schedule 4).
  • All of the measures in the Bill are savings measures. Much of the criticism from interest groups relates to the claim that the savings come at the expense of people who are on low incomes.
  • The measure on earlier proportional payment of pensions outside Australia is attracting the most attention from the public. This measure achieves savings by reducing the period of time some pensioners can receive the full means tested rate of payment while they are overseas from 26 weeks to six weeks.

Purpose

The purpose of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015 (the Bill) is to amend eight Acts, including the Social Security Act 1991[1], Social Security (Administration) Act 1999[2], A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999[3], Farm Household Support Act 2014[4], Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986[5], and Income Tax Assessment Act 1997[6] to re-introduce four savings measures previously introduced in earlier Bills.

The Bill contains four schedules with each schedule dealing with a single measure (see table below).

Table 1: List of measures and previous Bills where the measure has appeared

Measure Previous Bills
Schedule 1—Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia. Measure removed from the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015 during its passage through the Parliament in June 2015.[7]
Schedule 2—Cease pensioner education supplement from 1 January 2016. Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014. This Bill was discharged from the Notice Paper on 28 October 2014.[8]

Reintroduced: Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 4) Bill 2014. This Bill was introduced into the Senate on 28 October 2014. Second reading was adjourned 28 October 2014.

Reintroduced: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015. Measure removed during the passage of the Bill through the Parliament in June 2015.
Schedule 3—Cease education entry payment from 1 January 2016. Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014.

Reintroduced: Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 4) Bill 2014.

Reintroduced: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015. Measure removed during the passage of the Bill through the Parliament in June 2015.
Schedule 4—Pausing indexation for three years of:
  • the income free areas for all working age allowances (other than student payments) and for parenting payment single and
  • the income free areas and other means test thresholds for student payments, including student income bank limits.
Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014 (working age payments). This Bill was discharged from the Notice Paper on 28 October 2014.

Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014 (student payments).

Reintroduced: Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 4) Bill 2014.

Reintroduced: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015. This Bill was negatived in the Senate at second reading.

Background

The Government announced the first measure, earlier proportional payment of pensions outside Australia (Schedule 1), in the 2015 budget.[9] The remaining three measures were first announced in the 2014 budget. These are:

  • cease pensioner education supplement (Schedule 2)[10]
  • cease education entry payment (Schedule 3)[11] and
  • pausing indexation for three years of:
    • the income free areas for all working age allowances (other than student payments) and for parenting payment single and
    • the income free areas and other means test thresholds for student payments, including student income bank limits (Schedule 4).[12]

Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia

An income support payment is ‘portable’ when a recipient can continue to receive the payment when they are overseas. Portability varies by payment type and the recipient’s circumstances. For most payments portability is temporary (usually limited to six weeks). However, in most circumstances, recipients of the Age Pension can continue to receive payment indefinitely. This is known as unlimited portability.[13] A limited number of recipients of Wife Pension, Widow B Pension and Disability Support Pension also have unlimited portability.[14]

While income support recipients with unlimited portability can continue to receive a payment indefinitely while overseas, those who have not resided in Australia for at least 35 years (between the age of 16 and pension age) currently receive a reduced amount after they have been overseas for more than 26 weeks.

The reduction in payment is based on the period of time the person has resided in Australia between the age of 16 and pension age. This is known as their Australian Working Life Residence (AWLR). The payment rate is calculated by dividing the AWLR by 35. For example, a person who has resided in Australia for 10 years between 16 and age pension age will usually receive 10/35ths of the full means tested rate.[15] This reduction in payments is known as ‘proportionality’.

Pensioner Education Supplement and Education Entry Payment

Pensioner Education Supplement

The Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) helps eligible income support recipients meet some of the ongoing costs associated with study. The rationale for making the payment is to improve recipients’ later employment prospects.[16]

PES is not means tested and is non-taxable. Depending on their study load, eligible students receive $62.40 or $31.20 per fortnight.[17] It is available to recipients of Parenting Payment (single), Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Widow B Pension, Widow Allowance, Wife Pension, and certain other groups of income support recipients (including recipients of some Veterans’ Affairs payments).[18]

There is a separate ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement available to Indigenous income support recipients.[19] As the ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement is not administered under the Social Security Act 1991 it is not affected by this measure (ABSTUDY is governed by the ABSTUDY Policy Manual).[20]

The National Commission of Audit noted that recipients of the PES received the payment during vacation periods as well as during study terms or semesters. The Commission recommended ‘that the Supplement only be provided to recipients during study terms or semesters.’[21]

Education Entry Payment

The Education Entry Payment is a taxable lump sum payment of $208 to help recipients meet the up-front costs of education and training. It is paid once a year.[22]

The National Commission of Audit recommended that the Education Entry Payment be abolished, partly on the grounds that it duplicated the assistance available through the PES.[23]

Pause indexation for three years of income free areas

Indexation of income free areas was explained in the Bills Digest for the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014:

Currently, the income test free area for a single person for most of the working age income support allowance payments is $100 per fortnight. The free area is $200 a fortnight (combined) for partnered persons. Once income is in excess of these free areas in a fortnight, the maximum rate payable is reduced by 50 cents for each dollar of income over the free area. Income over $250 in a fortnight reduces the rate by 60 cents in each dollar. These income test free areas are indexed once a year on 1 July to increases in the [Consumer Price Index] CPI. The working age income support allowance payments that use this income test are Newstart Allowance, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance and Sickness Allowance.[24]

Since that digest was published the income free areas have been indexed. The current income test free area is $102 per fortnight; payments are reduced by 50 cents for each dollar between $102 and $252, and 60 cents for each dollar over $252.[25] Further background about the indexation of income free areas is available in the Bills digest for the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014.[26]

Committee consideration

Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee

The Bill has been referred to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 4 February 2016. Details of the inquiry are at: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015.

Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills

The Bill has yet to be considered by the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills. The Committee did not raise concerns about any of the measures when they were put forward in earlier Bills.[27]

Policy position of non-government parties/independents

Opposition and Greens Senators have commented on these measures in committee. As of 3 February 2016 no public comments from independent members or senators have been identified.

Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia

When this measure was included in an earlier Bill, Labor Senators on the Community Affairs Legislation Committee did not support it and recommended that it be removed.[28] They did so on the basis that there had been:

... significant concerns raised in submissions about the changes to proportional payment of pension overseas, and the likelihood that these will have a detrimental impact on pensioners who have lived in Australia for many years, but who wish to spend time overseas in retirement.[29]

Greens Senators did not state a position on the measure in their additional comments because it had already been removed from the Bill.

Cease pensioner education supplement

When this measure was included in an earlier Bill, Labor Senators on the Community Affairs Legislation Committee did not support it and recommended that it be removed.[30] The Greens have also opposed this measure.[31]

Labor Senators argued that:

... this cut provides a strong disincentive for people to remain engaged in study. It is particularly contradictory for the Government to profess to want to encourage people into work, but then cut support for people to undertake study, at the same time as they cut their income. This will only make it harder for people with disability and carers to access training and education and therefore find suitable jobs.[32]

Greens Senators also argued that ceasing the PES would reduce vulnerable income support recipients’ access to education.[33]

Cease education entry payment

When this measure was considered by the Community Affairs Legislation Committee Labor Senators did not support it and recommended that it be removed from the Bill.[34] The Greens have also opposed this measure.[35]

Labor Senators argued that, along with the abolition of the PES, this measure ‘directly contradicts any claim that the government is supporting low-income people to study.’[36] Greens Senators argued that:

If the government is invested in the study and training of people on income support, ceasing the pensioner education supplement and the education entry payment makes no sense.[37]

Pause indexation for three years of income free areas

When this measure was considered by the Community Affairs Legislation Committee Labor Senators recommended that the measure be rejected:

Due to the likely negative impacts on jobseekers financial position and the reduced incentive to work Labor Senators are of the view that this measure should be rejected.[38]

The Greens also rejected the measure. According to their dissenting report:

Freezing free areas reduces incentives to work which is at odds with the government's other policies which are ostensibly aimed at encouraging people into work.[39]

Position of major interest groups

All of the measures in the Bill are savings measures. Much of the criticism from interest groups relates to the idea that the savings should come at the expense of people who are on low incomes.

Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia

UnitingCare Australia supported this measure when it was put forward in the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015 on the grounds ‘that budget expenditure should be targeted to those most vulnerable’.[40]

However, the measure is opposed by a number of other groups including the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA), the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA), COTA Australia, and the National Welfare Rights Network (NWRN).[41]

FECCA argues that treating migrants differently to those born in Australia is an equity issue and notes that:

Nearly 40 per cent of those receiving the Age Pension were not born in Australia. It is concerning to see tightening of portability provisions, as they will disadvantage a significant section of the Australian population who were born overseas and maintain important ties with their places of birth.[42]

The Welfare Rights Centre Sydney shares the concerns of FECCA and notes that: ‘Family issues, including bereavement and caring responsibilities may dictate that overseas stays need to be for extended periods of time.’[43] The CPSA argues that: ‘Those who travel to care for friends and relatives (or to be cared for themselves) will be particularly affected.’[44]

Cease pensioner education supplement and cease education entry payment

These measures have been opposed by a number of major interest groups including ACOSS, the NWRN, the Refugee Council of Australia, and the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).[45]

The AASW is particularly concerned about the effect ending the pensioner education supplement will have on recipients of the Disability Support Pension (DSP). In their submission they report the results of a survey that found social work students on DSP were more likely than other social work students to regularly go without food or other necessities (55 per cent for DSP students compared with 30 per cent for all social work students). According to the AASW submission ‘[t]he evidence suggests that the well-targeted Pensioner Education Supplement should be increased rather than removed.’[46]

Pause indexation for three years of income free areas

This measure has been opposed by a number of major interest groups including ACOSS, the NWRN, the Salvation Army, and the St Vincent de Paul Society.[47]

In its submission on the Bill, ACOSS argues that ‘[i]income free areas should not be adjusted through ad-hoc freezing of indexation to achieve short term budget savings at the expense of reducing the incomes of people on low wages.’[48] The National Welfare Rights Network argues that governments need to address the problems of adequacy and incentives in working age payments and that: ‘[t]o propose undermining existing free areas by freezing indexation, in the face of clear inadequacy of workforce age payments, is indefensible.’[49] The Salvation Army argues that this measure reduces incentives to work and ‘reduces incomes solely for the purposes of budget savings ...’[50]

Financial implications

According to the figures set out in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill, the total expected budget savings over the forward estimates period for the four measures in the Bill would be $579 million.[51]

Table 2: Financial impact over the forward estimates by measure

Measure

Financial impact over the forward estimates (savings)

Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia $168.4 million
Pensioner education supplement $252.4 million*
Education entry payment $64.4 million*
Indexation $93.8 million*

* Financial impact refers to administered funding for affected social security payments only and is not net of implementation funding.

Source: Explanatory Memorandum, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, accessed 1 February 2016.

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

As required under Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth), the Government has assessed the Bill’s compatibility with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of that Act. The Government considers that the Bill is compatible.[52]

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights

The current Bill has yet to be considered by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (PJCHR). However, since each of the Bill’s measures has previously been put forward in earlier Bills the Committee has had an opportunity to raise concerns. It has not done so.

Table 3: Response by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights by measure

Measure

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights response

Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia The committee considered that Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015 did not require additional comment.
Twenty-third report of the 44th Parliament
, 18 June 2015, p. 2–3.[53]
Pensioner education supplement The committee considered that the measure is compatible with human rights.
Twelfth report of the 44th Parliament, September 2014, p. 80–81.[54]
Education entry payment The committee considered that the measure is compatible with human rights.
Twelfth report of the 44th Parliament, September 2014, p. 81–83.[55]
Indexation The committee considered that the measures are compatible with human rights.
Twelfth report of the 44th Parliament, September 2014, p. 59–61.[56]

Key issues and provisions

Schedule 1—Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia

This measure was announced in the 2015–16 Budget and was first introduced in the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015. The government removed the measure to secure passage of that Bill through the Senate.

The measure achieves savings by reducing the period of time some pensioners can receive the full means tested rate of payment while they are overseas from 26 weeks to six weeks. It affects recipients of the age pension and a limited number of recipients of Widow B Pension, Wife Pension, and Disability Support Pension who have unlimited portability and who have resided in Australia for less than 35 years between the age of 16 and age pension age.

The changes would commence from 1 January 2017.

Amendments to the Social Security Act 1991

Items 1 to 4 of Schedule 1 of the Bill apply the measure by omitting references to ‘26 weeks’ and substituting ‘6 weeks’ in sections referring to proportionality (see Table 4).[57] Item 5 is an application provision, which provides that the amendments only apply to periods of absence from Australia starting on or after 1 January 2017.

Table 4: Amendments to the Social Security Act 1991

Item 1: Subsection 1214(1) (note 2) Payments that are portable with no time limit—a consequential amendment is made to Note 2 to change the time period to ‘6 weeks’.
Item 2: Paragraph 1220A(a) Proportionality—age pension rate
Item 3: Paragraph 1220B(1)(a) Proportionality—Disability Support Pension rate for a severely disabled person
Item 4: Paragraph 1221(1)(a) Proportionality—wife pension and widow B pension rate for entitled persons

Recent media coverage

Judith Ireland recently reported that the Government ‘is under fire from migrant and refugee groups, who say a plan to limit the time pensioners can spend in another country before their pension is cut discriminates against Australians born overseas.’[58]

Schedule 2—Cease pensioner education supplement

Under Schedule 2 of the Bill, the Pensioner Education Supplement will cease. Schedule 2 amends the Social Security Act 1991, the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, Farm Household Support Act 2014 and Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Item 17 of Schedule 2 repeals Part 2.24A of the Social Security Act 1991 which regulates the Pensioner Education Supplement. This Schedule is expressed to commence as from 1 January 2016 and will have retrospective effect if the Bill is passed.

Schedule 3— Cease Education Entry payment

Under Schedule 3 of the Bill the Education Entry Payment will cease. The Schedule amends the Social Security Act 1991, the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986, Farm Household Support Act 2014, Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

Item 3 of Schedule 3 of the Bill repeals Part 2.13A of the Social Security Act 1991 which currently regulates the education entry payment.

Other than the delayed commencement of the measure from 1 January 2015 to 1 January 2016, there are no differences between the amendments proposed by Schedules 2 and 3 of this Bill and Schedules 6 and 7 of the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014. These measures are explained in the Bills Digest for that earlier Bill.[59] This Schedule is expressed to commence on 1 January 2016 and if passed will mean that the provisions have retrospective effect.

Schedule 4—Indexation

Pause indexation for three years of income free areas

Schedule 4 of the Bill amends the Social Security Act 1991 to:

  • pause the indexation of income free areas for all working age allowances (other than student payments) and for parenting payment single; and
  • pause the indexation of income free areas and other means test thresholds for student payments, including the student income bank limits.

If passed, indexation for the income test free areas for non-student payment allowances and Parenting Payment Single will start again on 1 July 2019, and indexation of the income test free areas and means test limits for student payments will start again on 1 January 2019.[60] This measure was last introduced as part of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015. As the Bills Digest for that Bill explained:

These means test levels are usually adjusted once a year (on either 1 January or 1 July) in line with movements in the CPI. Pausing indexation (that is, not adjusting the amounts) is a simple way of finding budget savings without directly cutting benefits or limiting eligibility. The threshold amounts will decline in real value over time and savings arise as payment rates are reduced as recipients’ income and assets gradually increase beyond the relevant thresholds.[61]

This measure is explained in the Bills Digest for the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014.[62]

 

Members, Senators and Parliamentary staff can obtain further information from the Parliamentary Library on (02) 6277 2500.



[1].         Social Security Act 1991, accessed 28 January 2016.

[2].         Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, accessed 28 January 2016.

[3].         A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, accessed 28 January 2016.

[4].         Farm Household Support Act 2014, accessed 28 January 2016.

[5].         Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986, accessed 28 January 2016.

[6].         Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, accessed 28 January 2016.

[7].         The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015 passed both Houses on 22 June 2015 and received Royal Assent on 30 June 2015—see Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Act 2015, accessed 2 February 2016.

[8].         Parliament of Australia, Final Senate Bills List for 2014, 15 December 2014, accessed 1 February 2016.

[9].         Australian Government, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2 2015–16, p. 150, accessed 17 December 2015.

[10].      Australian Government, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2 2014–15, p. 206, accessed 17 December 2015.

[11].      Ibid., p. 197.

[12].      Department of Human Services (DHS), ‘Budget 2014-15: Maintain eligibility thresholds for Australian Government payments for three years’, DHS website, accessed 17 December 2015.

[13].      Department of Social Services (DSS), ‘Portability of Australian income support payments’, DSS website, accessed 21 January 2016.

[14].      For details on the application of portability rules see: DSS, ‘7.1.2.20 Application of Portability Rules (Portability Table)’, Guide to social security law, version 1.218, released 4 January 2016, DSS website, last updated 4 January 2016, accessed 21 January 2016.

[15].      DHS, ‘Age Pension while travelling outside Australia’, DHS website, accessed 21 January 2016.

[16].      DSS, ‘1.2.7.30 Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) – Description’, Guide to social security law, 4 January 2016, accessed 29 January 2016.

[17].      Ibid.

[18].      DSS, ‘Pensioner Education Supplement’, DSS website, accessed 29 January 2016.

[19].      DSS, ABSTUDY policy manual, DSS, 1 January 2016, pp. 237–240, accessed 1 February 2016.

[20].      Ibid.

[21].      National Commission of Audit, Towards responsible government: the report of the National Commission of Audit, phase two, National Commission of Audit, Canberra, March 2014, pp. 107–108, accessed 1 February 2016.

[22].      DSS, ‘1.2.7.60 Education Entry Payment (EdEP) – Description’, Guide to social security law, version 1.218, released 4 January 2016, DSS website, last updated 2 January 2013, accessed 29 January 2016.

[23].      National Commission of Audit, op. cit., p. 107.

[24].      P Yeend and L Buckmaster, ‘Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014’, Bills digest, 14, 2014–15, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, p. 12, accessed 1 February 2016.

[25].      DHS, ‘Income test for Newstart Allowance, Partner Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Widow Allowance’, DHS web site, accessed 29 January 2016.

[26].      P Yeend and L Buckmaster, op. cit., p. 12.

[27].      Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, Alert digest, 7, 2014, 25 June 2014, pp.35–41 (Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014 and Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014); Alert digest, 14, 2014, 29 October 2014, p. 49 (Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 4) Bill 2014); Alert digest, 6, 2015, 17 June 2015, pp.53 and 55 (Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015 and Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015), all accessed 2 February 2016.

[28].      Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015 [Provisions], The Senate, Canberra, June 2015, pp. 30–31, accessed 14 January 2016.

[29].      Ibid., p. 30–31.

[30].      Ibid., p. 31.

[31].      Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014 [Provisions] and Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014 [Provisions], The Senate, Canberra, June 2015, p. 66, accessed 14 January 2016.

[32].      Ibid., p. 51.

[33].      Ibid., p. 66.

[34].      Ibid., p. 31. Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015 [Provisions], The Senate, Canberra, June 2015, p. 31, accessed 14 January 2016.

[35].      Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014 [Provisions] and Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014 [Provisions], The Senate, Canberra, June 2015, p. 66, accessed 14 January 2016.

[36].      Ibid., p. 53.

[37].      Ibid., p. 66.

[38].      Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015 [Provisions], The Senate, Canberra, June 2015, p. 24, accessed 3 February2016.

[39].      Ibid., p. 33.

[40].      UnitingCare Australia, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 11 June 2015, pp. 1–2.

[41].      FECCA, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 14 January 2016; ACOSS, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 18 January 2016; CPSA, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, January 2016; COTA, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015, 15 June 2015, pp. 6–7; NWRN, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 15 January 2016, all accessed 1 February 2016.

[42].      FECCA, op. cit., p. 1.

[43].      Welfare Rights Centre Sydney, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 15 January 2016, pp. 2–3, accessed 3 February 2016.

[44].      CPSA, op. cit., p. 3.

[45].      ACOSS, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 18 January 2016; NWRN, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 15 January 2016; Refugee Council of Australia, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, January 2016; AASW, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, January 2016; all accessed 1 February 2016.

[46].      AASW, op. cit., p. 4.

[47].      ACOSS, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 18 January 2016; NWRN, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 15 January 2016; The Salvation Army Australia, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 18 January 2016; St Vincent de Paul Society National Council, Submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, 18 January 2016; all accessed 1 February 2016.

[48].      ACOSS, op. cit., p. 2.

[49].      NWRN, op. cit. p. 5.

[50].      Salvation Army, op. cit., p. 3.

[51].      Explanatory Memorandum, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015, p. 1.

[52].      The Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights can be found after page 13 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill.

[53].      Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (PJCHR), Human rights scrutiny report: Twenty-third report of the 44th Parliament, 18 June 2015, accessed 1 February 2016.

[54].      PJCHR, Human rights scrutiny report: Twelfth report of the 44th Parliament, 24 September 2015, accessed 1 February 2016.

[55].      Ibid.

[56].      Ibid.

[57].      Social Security Act 1991, accessed 28 January 2016.

[58].      J Ireland, ‘Travel link to pension ‘discriminatory’’, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 January 2016, p. 4, accessed 1 February 2016.

[59].      C Ey, M Klapdor, M Thomas and P Yeend, Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014, Bills digest, 16, 2014–15, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, pp. 30–32, accessed 1 February 2016.

[60].      Proposed subsection 1192(5AAA) makes changes to the indexation of the pension free area. Proposed subsection 1192(5AAB) makes changes to income test free areas and means test limits for student payments. Item 24 of the table at 1191(1),which proposed subsection 1192(5AAB) refers to, was repealed with effect from 1 January 2016 by item 18 of Schedule 1 to the Social Services Legislation Amendment (More Generous Means Testing for Youth Payments) Act 2015, accessed 2 February 2016.

[61].      M Klapdor and M Thomas, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015, Bills digest, 16, 2014–15, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, p. 15, accessed 3 February 2016.

[62].      P Yeend and L Buckmaster, Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014, Bills digest, 14, 2014–15, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, pp. 30–32, accessed 1 February 2016.

 

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