The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child
Care Reform) Bill 2017 (Omnibus Bill) introduces a range of measures which aim
to provide a fair and reasonable safety net to the most vulnerable, encourage
participation in work and study and be sustainable for future generations.
The Bill includes structural reform to family payments and participation
measures in conjunction with significant investment in child care which will
encourage and support greater workforce participation for those who have the
capacity to work. By combining the child care reforms into a single Omnibus
Bill with the Family Tax Benefit measures, the Government is able to reduce
spending and increase workforce participation through an affordable child care
Family tax benefit reform
The family tax benefit reform measures contained in the Bill have been
introduced in order to offset the additional expenditure on child care in the
Government's Jobs for Families Child Care Package.
In his second reading speech, the Minister for Social Services, the Hon
Christian Porter MP, noted that end of year family tax benefit supplements were
introduced in 2004 in order to assist families who were unable to accurately
predict their annual income and faced high level of reconciliation debt each
The Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A and FTB Part B end of year supplements will
be phased out between 1 July 2016 and 1 July 2018 to enable the Government to
provide more money on a fortnightly basis to families who need it most.
The maximum fortnightly payment rates of FTB Part A will be increased by
$20.02 for each child in a family aged up to 19 years. An equivalent rate of
increase of around $19.37 will apply to youth allowance and disability support
pension recipients aged under 18 and living at home.
In recognition of a parent's increased ability to work as their children
get older, FTB Part B will not be available for single parents (who are not
aged over 60 or more or grandparents or great-grandparents) from 1 January of
the calendar year their youngest child turns 17.
While submitters and witnesses recognised the need for budget repair
they also expressed concerns about the:
impact on low income and vulnerable families such as single
the proposed increases do not compensate for the loss of end of
the combination of these reforms with others measures contained
in the Bill;
linkage of measures to the Job for Families Child Care Package.
Impact on low income families
A number of submitters noted that most of the recipients affected by the
changes in Schedules 1-3 of the Bill would be low income families and
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) submitted that:
The reduction in FTB Part B and abolition of end of year
supplements will substantially reduce household income for low income and
vulnerable families including single parents and families of children with
disability and is likely to increase the number of Australian families living
below the poverty line.
Furthermore, the ACTU highlighted that '[u]nder these changes, 30,000
sole parents with children aged 17-19 will lose FTB-B completely – costing them
$3,186 per family per year.'
The National Council of Single Mothers and Their Children also expressed
concern at the impact of the measures on single mothers:
As Australia has one of the most targeted systems in the
world the impact will be felt by the families who are in the greatest need.
NCSMC shares the distress of the families who will be most affected, and that
it is families with children over the age of 13. Ironically, the cuts hit when
assistance is needed the most. We also raise our concerns for children who are
finishing their secondary schooling (16+) as they will have all assistance
The Department of Social Services has previously provided evidence that:
...these measures are to do with the sustainability of the
system, as well as to encourage participation and help pay for the Jobs for
Families measures. In that sense, we know that better targeting FTB B will
assist the sustainability of the welfare payment system. It is considered that,
as children get older, the parents' ability to participate in the workforce
will increase, and these measures reflect that.
The Department of Social Services also advised that FTB entitlements are
provided tax free.
The committee notes that Australia's welfare system provides targeted income support
to those most in need, while encouraging self-provision.
The National Council of Single Mothers and Their Children maintained
that '[t]he reconciling of end-of-year supplements is factored into household
budgets and provides a much required capacity to enable families to pay those
large costs that often cannot be met within the weekly tight budget.'
The committee notes that the original purpose of the end of year
supplements was to reconcile FTB debt at the end of the financial year and that
the phasing out of end of year supplements is in response to the government's
investment in service delivery which has led to improved accuracy of income
reporting and reduced the need for a supplement to off-set reconciliation
Combination of measures
A number of submitters and witnesses raised concerns about the impact of
the family tax benefit measures in conjunction with other measures contained in
the Bill such as the phasing out of the energy supplement and cessation of the
pensioner education supplement and education entry payment.
The National Social Security Rights Network submitted that:
The closure of the energy supplement to new entrants, as
defined in the bill, means that those new entrants will include many, many
families with children who are also receiving family tax benefit and therefore
will lose part A and part B supplements as well as the energy supplement by
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) provided an example
that a sole parent whose youngest child was over 16 years who received the
maximum rate of the FTB, pensioner education supplement, education entry
payment and energy supplement would lose $106.17 per week in payments.
The committee notes that the measures contained in this Bill were
introduced to 'improve the fairness and sustainability of government payments.'
In particular, '[t]he government wants a welfare system that supports the most
vulnerable, encourages those capable of work or study to do so, reduces
intergenerational welfare dependency, and is sustainable for the future.'
Linkage to Jobs for Families Child
A number of submitters and witnesses raised concerns that family tax
benefit reform measures and the Jobs for Families Child Care Package had been
introduced in the same bill.
The committee notes that '[c]ombining fair and reasonable changes to the
family tax benefit system and childcare reforms into a single bill enables the
government to reduce spending and increase workforce participation through an
affordable childcare system.'
The committee acknowledges concerns about the proposed reduction to FTB
Part B payments as children grow older. The committee considers that these
changes will provide an incentive for parents to re-engage with the workforce
and notes that a parents' ability to engage with the workforce increases as
their child grows older.
The committee acknowledges concerns about the impact of phasing out of
the FTB end of year supplements. The committee notes that while a small number
of families use the supplement for its original purpose to offset
reconciliation debt, families now are able to estimate their income with
increasing accuracy and are therefore less likely to incur debt.
The committee acknowledges concerns about linking the expected savings
from the proposed family tax benefit reform to the Government's Jobs for
Families Child Care Package. The committee considers that the savings for this
purpose is justified and will contribute to increased workforce participation.
Jobs for Families Child Care Package
The Minister set out in his second reading speech that '[t]he Jobs for
Families Child Care Package delivers genuine, much-needed reform for a simpler,
more affordable, more accessible and more flexible early education and
The Government is committed to investing in child care through this package
which will provide parents with more choice and opportunity to work, and to
provide children with high-quality early education.
This Bill replaces the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate
with a Child Care Subsidy (CSS) which will support parents' work and family
responsibilities and enable greater engagement in the workforce. Families who
earn $65 710 or less will receive the highest rate of subsidy at 85 per cent of
the actual fee charged with the subsidy tapering to 20 per cent for families
earning over $340 000.
It is estimated that the reforms will encourage more than 230 000
families to increase their involvement in paid employment.
This Bill also provides an Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) which will
target support to families that need it most such as those experiencing
temporary financial hardship or children at risk of, or subject to, neglect and
Submitters were broadly supportive of the measures included in Schedule
4 of the Omnibus Bill.
The committee heard that '[t]hese reforms will make the assistance fairer.
Low-income families will receive more, while subsidies for high-income families
However, submitters raised some concerns regarding the number of hours
of subsidised care and the impact of the reforms on Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander services and rural and remote services.
Hours of subsided care
Currently eligible families can access up to 24 hours of subsidised
care per week under the Child Care Benefit.
The new CSS will be subject to an activity test which aligns the hours
of subsidised care with the combined hours of work, training, study or other
recognised activity, providing for up to 100 hours of subsidy per fortnight. The
table below sets out the hours of child care subsidy accessible per number of
hours of activity.
|| Hours of activity (per fortnight)
|| Maximum number of hours of subsidy (per fortnight)
||8 hours to 16 hours
||More than 16 hours to 48 hours
||More than 48 hours
The Bill provides that low income families (earning $65 710 or less) that
do not meet the proposed activity test may receive up to 24 hours of subsided
child care per fortnight per child.
The committee heard that 12 hours of care per week (or 24 hours per
fortnight) was not sufficient to encourage the hours of care to be taken over
two sessions per week and that the minimum entitlement should be increased to 15 hours
per week (or 30 hours per fortnight) in order for this to occur.
Representatives of the Early Childhood Education and Care sector advised
that they were prepared to work cooperatively with the sector and the
government in order to implement their recommendation of a minimum 15 hours of
subsidised care per week over two days.
Witnesses emphasised that a minimum of 15 hours could more practicably be spilt
across two days and that child care providers will adapt to the needs of the
community to ensure that care will be provided in multiple sessions over a two
day, or even three day, period.
The committee also heard that increasing the low income threshold from
$65 710 to $100 000 would capture the bottom 40 per cent of families who
account for 56 per cent of children most likely to start school developmentally
Submitters from the Early Childhood Education and Care sector therefore recommended
that the base entitlement be increased from the proposed 24 hours per fortnight,
to 30 hours per fortnight in conjunction with an increase to the household
income threshold from $65 710 to $100 000.
The Department of Education and Training noted that the Government is
considering the proposal to increase subsidised care to 30 hours per fortnight.
Impact on Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander services and rural and remote services
Currently the Budget Based Funding (BBF) program provides a contribution
to the operational costs of certain child care facilities, early learning and
school aged care services in approved locations, such as rural and remote
There are approximately 300 facilities currently provided with funding
through this program. The Department of Education and Training notes that:
These services are predominantly located in regional, remote
and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities where the market would
otherwise fail to deliver services to meet the needs of children and their
families. Many are the sole providers of child care in their communities.
A 2014 review of the BBF program made eight recommendations and found
that there were inconsistencies in regulatory requirements and the allocation
of funding across service types and locations.
The Department of Education and Training submitted that 'the current system
of funding for these services is capped and is not able to respond to changes
in communities, or the increasing number of children attending child care.'
The Job for Families Child Care Package proposes to replace one funding
stream capped at $61.8 million per year (the BBF program) with three funding
Child Care Subsidy;
Additional Child Care Subsidy; and
Community Child Care Fund (CCCF).
The committee heard that the $110 million per annum provided by the CCCF
will be inadequate to meet the needs of vulnerable families and in particular
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and rural and remote families.
The National Association of Mobile Services for Rural and Remote
Families and Children (NAMS) raised concerns that mobile child care services
which play a valuable role in rural and remote communities would not be able to
continue to operate under the new arrangements.
NAMS submitted that small community services would not have the resources or
experience to secure competitive grants under the CCCF.
The Department of Education and Training assured the committee that the
Government is providing tailored assistance to each BBF service so that they
can continue to provide a valuable community service.
The committee notes that in response to stakeholder feedback the
Department of Education and Training is building greater levels of flexibility
into the design of the CCCF which includes a non-competitive grants process to
ensure that the CCCF can be tailored to meet the needs of BBF service
The committee notes that the BBF program is capped at $61.8 million per
year and funds services on a year to year basis. The committee sees significant
benefit in the CCCF which will offer grants for three to five years and provide
funding certainty to child care services.
Furthermore, the Department of Education and Training noted that there
will be opportunities for further consultation around the final design of CCCF
and particularly BBF and mobile services following the passage of legislation.
The committee notes concerns raised by submitters and witnesses about
the removal of the BBF. However, the committee also notes evidence previously provided
by the Department of Education and Training
that BBF is a flawed system that results in inequity, and it supports efforts
to address these issues to ensure that funding is provided appropriately to all
The committee is encouraged that through the Jobs for Families Childcare
Package, BBF services will be able to access three streams of funding.
The Department of Education and Training outlined that:
...BBF services will be able to access income from the Child
Care Subsidy, which will increase as the number of eligible children in
attendance increases. Similarly, the Additional Child Care Subsidy will support
eligible families through higher subsidies, based on their individual needs.
BBF services will also be able to seek supplementary, tailored sustainability
funding under the Community Child Care Fund (CCCF).
The committee notes that the measures in Schedule 4 of the Omnibus Bill
will benefit almost one million families.
The committee is satisfied that the Government is considering the
proposal to increase the hours of subsidised care to 30 hours per fortnight and
that the Department of Education and Training is working with stakeholders to
transition BBF service providers to the new arrangements.
The committee is of the view that the Jobs for Families Child Care
Package contained in this Bill will result in a fairer system, where low income
families receive more help and subsidies to high income families will fall.
Paid Parental Leave
The committee notes that Schedules 17 and 18 of the Bill contain similar
provisions to the Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill 2016 (FPPL Bill).
The key variations between the provisions of the FPPL Bill and Schedules
17 and 18 of the Omnibus Bill are summarised below:
||Fairer Paid Parental Leave
||The first 1 January, 1 April,
1 July or 1 October after the day the Act receives Royal Assent.
||The first 1 January, 1 April,
1 July or 1 October after the end of the period of 9 months beginning on the
day the Act receives Royal Assent.
|Maximum period of government-funded
|Title of schedule
||Schedule 2 – Employer opt-in
||Schedule 18 ‑ Removal
of parental leave pay mandatory employer role
During its inquiry into the FPPL Bill, the committee received a number
of submissions that were supportive of the proposed flexible back dating
provisions, changes to the work test period and extension of the permissible
The following issues were highlighted by submitters and witnesses:
the reduction in the total number of weeks of PPL available to
the financial impact of the proposed measures on parents;
whether the proposed savings would be counteracted by an increase
in demand for childcare and the negative effect on workforce participation
rates of women; and
effect of removing employer from the paymaster role.
Number of weeks of PPL
Many submissions highlighted that some parents would receive fewer weeks
of PPL under the proposed changes to the FPPL Bill.
The explanatory memorandum to the FPPL Bill explained that:
Under the new measure, parents’ access to government-funded
parental leave pay will be limited according to the number of weeks of
employer-provided paid primary carer leave they receive, if any. This means
that, where a person is entitled to employer-provided leave of less than 18
weeks, the government scheme will provide the residual number of weeks of
government-funded parental leave pay up to the maximum period of 18 weeks.
The Omnibus Bill proposes that:
Parents will no longer receive both employer-provided paid
primary carer leave (such as maternity leave pay) and the full amount of
parental leave pay under the Government-provided PPL scheme. However, to offset
the reduction in support this may represent for some recipients of parental
leave pay, the maximum PPL period is increased from 18 to 20 weeks.
Parents who are entitled to receive employer-provided paid
primary carer leave totalling at least 20 weeks at the National Minimum Wage
will not receive any parental leave pay under the PPL scheme.
Parents who are entitled to receive employer-provided paid
primary carer leave totalling less than 20 weeks, will continue to receive some
parental leave pay under the PPL scheme, but the amount will be reduced by
length of the employer-provided paid primary carer leave they receive.
The Australian Services Union remarked that '[d]espite the Government's
"new" proposal to cap paid parental leave at 20 weeks rather than at
18 weeks, low paid workers will still lose thousands of dollars if the changes
The Shop Distributive Allied Employees Association (SDA) recognised that
'the increase from 18 to 20 weeks PLP [Parental Leave Payment] represents an
increase for many employees, however, the overall impact of the Bill will results
in a cut and fundamentally contradicts the objectives of the current Paid
Parental Leave scheme.'
During the inquiry into the FPPL Bill, submitters raised a number of
concerns regarding the impact of limiting PPL to 18 weeks including the
maternal and infant health impacts, employers restructuring their PPL schemes
in response to the Bill and Australia's comparatively low amount of PPL when
compared to other member states of the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation
and Development (OECD).
Submitters noted that these same concerns apply to a maximum PPL period
of 20 weeks as proposed in the Omnibus Bill.
A number of submitters noted that the World Health Organization
recommends that mothers spend a minimum of 26 weeks recovering from childbirth
and that infants be exclusively breastfeed for the first 26 weeks after
Submitters were therefore concerned that this recommendation would not be
achievable if PPL was limited to 18 or 20 weeks as proposed by the bills and
that this would have a negative impact on the health of mothers and their
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) noted that:
Capping access to PPL at 18 weeks will have a detrimental
effect on maternal health and wellbeing, reduce the capacity of mothers and
infants to bond effectively and decrease the proportion of women that
breastfeed six months after birth.
The committee heard the personal experience of a member of the Police
Federation of Australia:
I know from previous experience with my first two children
that breastfeeding once I return to work became extremely difficult—[...] the
thought of having to have that cease at potentially 4½ or five months of age,
which is certainly well below any health recommendations, would have been
extremely detrimental to her, to our family and to my wellbeing.
Employer funded PPL schemes
Some submitters questioned whether the proposed amendments may lead to
employers changing the structure of their employer-funded PPL schemes or result
in employer's removing them all together.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry acknowledged that
'private sector employers will likely seek to restructure the benefits they
offer in a way that complements the amended government-funded scheme, so as to
enable their employees to continue to receive the government-funded parental
The committee also heard evidence from the ACTU that other unions had
indicated to them that some employer groups were anticipating the Bill's
proposed changes and moving towards reducing their PPL schemes through
The Department of Social Services made the point that some groups had
predicted that employers would withdraw their PPL schemes after the
introduction of the government-funded PPL scheme in 2010. However, the PPL
evaluation showed that 83 per cent of employers made no changes to their scheme
and no employer completely removed their scheme.
Parental leave period
Professor Marian Baird of the University of Sydney Business School
emphasised the importance that Australia's PPL scheme does not go backwards and
argued that the scheme should be improved.
The PPL scheme has had the greatest impact on mothers who were on lower
incomes, self-employed or causally employed and that the provision of government-funded
PPL significantly extended the time they took off work after the birth of their
However, mothers on higher incomes did not significantly change the amount of
leave they took after the birth of their child following the introduction of
This has been cited as a key driver for these measures which aims to
maintain the positive outcomes of the PPL scheme while also making it fairer by
better targeting the government-funded scheme to families without access to
comprehensive employer-provided PPL.
A number of submitters pointed out that Australia's PPL scheme offered a
relatively low number of weeks of PPL compared to other OECD countries.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) acknowledged that a comparison of
parental leave payments is difficult due to the different types of leave
entitlements used by different countries and difficulties accessing the
Accounting for these difficulties, the WGEA advised that Australia's full-rate
equivalent weekly parental leave payment is one of the lowest in the OECD.
Currently Australia offers 18 weeks of government-funded PPL compared to
the OECD average of 54.1 weeks.
However, Australia's total public expenditure on family benefits as a
percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeds the OECD average of 2.4 per
cent of GDP totalling 2.8 per cent of GDP.
The committee also heard that in many OECD countries the amount of PPL
offered initially has been modest and has slowly built up over time following
evaluation, discussion and cross-party consideration of evidence available.
For example, since the 1980's Germany's PPL scheme has undergone significant
change, from a minimal payment over a three year period to a more generous
amount over 12 months.
The committee noted evidence from Professor Andrew Scott of Deakin
University who recalled that Sweden's PPL scheme was introduced in 1974 and now
offers 16 months PPL, however, 'even in Sweden, it was a gradual, incremental
process of building up these entitlements.'
A number of submitters raised concerns about the financial impact on
parents who would no longer receive government-funded PPL or parents who would
receive a partial amount of government-funded PPL.
Further analysis undertaken by the Department of Social Services of the
PPL evaluation survey data showed that:
those mothers with higher incomes are more likely to have
access to primary carer pay and that mothers who were on lower incomes,
self-employed or casually employed were less likely to have access to primary
The WGEA noted that 48 per cent of organisations in Australia offered
paid PPL for primary carers in 2015-16.
In its submission on the Omnibus Bill, the Department of Social Services
noted that approximately 2 per cent, or 4000 recipients, would no longer be
eligible for government-funded PPL. Approximately 53 per cent of eligible
parents do not have access to employer-provided paid primary carer leave and will
continue to receive the full benefit of the PPL scheme and will receive an
additional two weeks of PPL under the Omnibus Bill.
Impact of proposed savings
Many submitters questioned whether the indicative savings of the Bill
would be counteracted by an increase in families seeking child care for infants
as a result of mothers returning to work earlier than under the current PPL
The Community and Public Sector Union PSU Group noted that 'the savings
outlined in the forward estimates do not take into account the additional
pressures that will be placed on the child care system.'
The SDA cited a report of the Productivity Commission that the cost of
providing childcare for children aged 0-2 years is twice as costly as that of a
child aged 3-5 years due to higher staff ratios.
The Australian Services Union was concerned that use of the child care
rebate provided by the Government would increase under the Bill.
The committee also heard from The Parenthood that '[e]ffectively you have
families starting out in the child-care sector sooner and therefore for longer
and therefore requiring greater subsidy payments from the government in order
to pay for that.'
The Department of Social Services noted that it is unlikely that the
proposed changes to the PPL scheme would result in an increase in the use of childcare
and that analysis undertaken by the Productivity Commission suggested that any
effects would be modest.
Furthermore, the Department of Social Services informed the committee
that '[l]ower income women, who are more likely to have access only to the
Government scheme, will receive an additional two weeks of Paid Parental Leave
and are therefore more likely to delay child care as their paid leave will be
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) expressed the view that
the measures under the Bill may be detrimental to women's workforce
participation rates. The AHRC cited research that if a period of parental leave
is too short, participation rates decrease as women are forced out of the
Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Kate Jenkins, noted that
'there is no analysis of the cost to the budget of the bill's impact on women's
workforce participation and economic security and the flow-on impact of this on
the broader economy.'
Ms Jenkins submitted that:
In my view, the unintended consequences of the bill may be to
reduce women's connection with the workplace, reduce their workforce
participation, reduce their economic security and also reduce collaboration
between government and business to address this significant problem. The actual
impact on the budget of this bill would require detailed economic modelling,
which accounts for all of the resulting costs of the immediate saving.
Removal of the employer paymaster
Submissions were divided on whether the removal of the employer from the
paymaster role would have a negative impact on recipients of PPL. Submitters
argued that removing the employer from the paymaster role would alleviate a
costly administrative burden whereas other submitters were concerned that the
perception of PPL and a parent's relationship with their employer would be
Some submissions argued that if the payment of PPL is made by the
Department of Human Services, rather the employer, then employees will lose a
connection with their employer and workplace and that the scheme will be viewed
as a welfare payment.
Professor Guyonne Kalb and Professor Abigail Payne of the Melbourne
Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, argued that removing the
employer from the paymaster role would weaken the relationship between the
employer and employee during parental leave.
In addition, Professors Kalb and Payne were concerned that payment of PPL by
the Department of Human Services would result in employers and employees perceiving
PPL as a welfare payment rather than a work entitlement.
The committee heard similar evidence from Professor Marian Baird of the
University of Sydney Business School, who advised the results of the PPL
evaluation's survey of employers:
I also want to reiterate that our evaluation of employers—and
this is a unique evaluation because very few countries have had the opportunity
to do that—found that they adapted very quickly to their role as pay
administrator. The costs were minimal, and they have embedded those new systems
now, so there is really no reason to remove that or to remove their role
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry disagreed with this
view, stating that the 'Australian Chamber considers the existing paymaster
obligations to be imbalanced, unjustifiably imposing a significant compliance
burden on employers.'
For example, the committee heard evidence that administering the
employer paymaster role was a burden on community pharmacies and was both
costly and time consuming for small businesses.
Mr Lodhia, a member of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, advised the
committee that in his experience, administering the payment of PPL cost between
$1000 and $2000 per year for approximately 50 employees.
The Department of Social Services noted that the removal of employers
from the paymaster role would 'reduce red tape and ease administrative burden
Furthermore, it is estimated that that the average annual reduction in
compliance costs on business will be $44 million.
The committee acknowledges submitter's concerns regarding the health
impacts on mothers and their child and reports that employers may change their
employer-funded PPL schemes. The committee notes that the objective of the Act
will remain the same and that government-funded PPL is intended to complement
and supplement existing employer-funded entitlements.
The committee acknowledges that Australia's PPL scheme was introduced in
2010 and is still in its infancy. The committee notes that the PPL evaluation
shows that the introduction of 18 weeks of government-funded PPL has had a
significant impact on parents, especially those on lower incomes.
The committee acknowledges concerns that the removal of employer from
the paymaster role may have an impact on an employee's connection with their
workplace and notes that provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 provide an
employee on unpaid parental leave with 10 keeping in touch days for employees
to maintain a relationship with their employer and workplace and assist their
return to work after parental leave.
The committee notes that the proposed amendments to remove the mandatory
employer paymaster role is in response to feedback received during the PPL
review and is satisfied that these amendments will ease administrative burden
The committee notes that under this Bill, over half of families who are
currently eligible for PPL will receive two additional weeks of PPL totalling
20 weeks of government-funded PPL and that these recipients are low income
mothers who are more greatly advantaged through the provision of PPL.
The committee is satisfied that the Bill continues to provide a
safety-net to parents and maintains the shared responsibility of employers and
government in combining to provide adequate PPL.
While acknowledging the concerns identified by submitters and witnesses
the committee considers that these changes to Australia's welfare system will better
target government payments whilst still providing a fair and reasonable safety
net for those who need it.
The committee notes that the measures in this Bill will encourage and
support greater workforce participation for those who have the capacity to work
and will therefore ensure that Australia's welfare system is sustainable in the
The committee recommends that the Bill be passed.
Senator Jonathon Duniam
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