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Wednesday, 29 March 2006
Page: 12

Dr STONE (Minister for Workforce Participation) (9:47 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Parliament recently passed the Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (Welfare to Work and Other Measures) Bill 2005. To ensure that the policy intention of the Welfare to Work changes contained in the act are fully realised and consistently applied, a number of additional amendments to the social security law are required.

Terminology and provisions in the social security law need to be replaced, amended or repealed to clarify the policy intention in relation to certain Welfare to Work measures.

This bill will allow parenting payment partnered recipients who have a temporary incapacity exemption to have access to the pharmaceutical allowance.

It will also allow single principal carer parents who are bereaving the death of a child and are receiving Newstart allowance or youth allowance to continue to receive the same rate they were receiving before their child died for another 14 weeks after the death of the child.

This bill extends the employment entry payment. Income support recipients who are subject to a non-payment period due to compliance are now able to continue to have access to an employment entry payment. This payment is provided to income support recipients to assist in offsetting the costs associated in commencing employment or increasing the number of hours of employment.

These measures, and others in the bill, build on announced Welfare to Work policy and ensure consistency across working age payments.

The measures in this bill will cost $4.8 million over four years.

I commend the bill to the House and table the explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Mr Crean) adjourned.