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Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017

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8243

2016-2017

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017

 

 

( 1 )     Clause  2 , page 2 (table item  6 ), omit the table item.

[bereavement allowance]

( 2 )     Schedule  3 , item  25 , page 75 (after line 23) , after subsection  654(5) , insert:

          (5A)  The woman ’s wife pension transition rate during the period from the day after the transition day to the day before the day on which the transition rate is ceased (the transition period ) is worked out using Pension Rate Calculator A a t the end of section 1064 (see Part 3.2).

[transition rate of wife pension]

( 3 )     Schedule  3 , items  45 to 49 , page 79 (line 20) to page 80 (line 4) , to be opposed .

[transition rate of wife pension]

( 4 )     Schedule  3 , item  98 , page 85 (lines 24 to 26) , omit the item, substitute:

(3)       Subitem (3A) applies to a woman if, before the commencement of this item:

                     (a)  the woman was receiving wife pension; and

                     (b)  Division 2 of Part 4.2 of the Social Security Act 1991 applied in relation to the payment of wife pension to the woman.

(3A)     Despite the amendments made by this Schedule, Parts 2.4 and 4.2 of the Social Security Act 1991 , as in force immediately before the commencement of this item, and any other provision of that Act necessary to give effect to those Parts, continue to apply on and after that commencement in relation to the woman as if the amendments made by this Schedule had not been made.

 [overseas portability of wife pension]

( 5 )     Schedule  4 , page 92 (line 1) to page 116 (line 25) , to be opposed .

[bereavement allowance]

( 6 )     Schedule  5 , page 121 (after line 6) , after item  17 , insert:

17A  After subsection 603C(1)

Insert:

       (1AA)  If:

                     (a)  immediately before the commencement of Part 1 of Schedule 5 to the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Act 2017 (the amending Act ), sickness allowance is payable to a person; and

                     (b)  sickness allowance would continue to be payable to the person for a period if the amendments to this Act by the amending Act had not been made;

the person is not required to satisfy the activity test in respect of that period and any further periods of incapacity immediately following that period.

 [sickness allowance]

( 7 )     Schedule  6 , item  16 , page 144 (after line 15) , after subsection  43 ( 1C ), insert:

          (1D)  A woman is qualified for an age pension if:

                     (a)  the woman was receiving jobseeker payment immediately before 1 January 2022; and

                     (b)  the woman would qualify for widow allowance if subsection 408AA(2) was not in force; and

                     (c)  the woman is not otherwise qualified for an age pension.

[widow allowance]

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017

 

 

 

Statement pursuant to the order of

the Senate of 26 June 2000

 

 

 



Amendment (7)

 

Amendment (7) is framed as a request because it amends Schedule 6 of the bill in a way which would increase expenditure under the standing appropriation in section 242 of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 from 1 January 2022.

 

Schedule 6 of the bill would close widow allowance to new entrants from 1 January 2018 (or the date of Royal Assent if that is later). The allowance would cease entirely from 1 January 2022. The effect of the amendment would be that, from 1 January 2022, women who have been receiving jobseeker payment, and would have been eligible for widow allowance if they had applied before the commencement of the amendments in Schedule 6, would instead be eligible for the aged pension. This will capture a group of women who may not otherwise be eligible for the aged pension because they do not meet the residence requirements in section 43 of the Social Security Act 1991 . Without the amendment, this group may have been eligible to claim special benefit which is calculated at a lower rate.

 

Under sections 746 and 408FA of the Social Security Act 1991 , special benefit and widow allowance are currently paid at a rate equivalent to (or no more than) newstart allowance (calculated under Benefit Rate Calculator B at the end of section 1068 of the Social Security Act 1991 ). This is a lower rate than the aged pension. The aged pension is calculated under the pension rate calculator s in sections 1064 and 1065 of the Social Security Act 1991 . The amendment would therefore increase the amount of expenditure under the standing appropriation in section 242 of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 .

 

Statement by the Clerk of the Senate pursuant

to the order of the Senate of 26 June 2000

 

 

 

Amendment (7)

 

If the effect of amendment (7) is to increase expenditure under the standing appropriation in section 242 of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 then it is in accordance with the precedents of the Senate that the amendment be moved as a request.