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Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015



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ISSN 1328-8091

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BILLS DIGEST NO. 34, 2015-16 16 OCTOBER 2015

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015 Matthew Thomas Social Policy Section

Contents

Purpose of the Bill ............................................................... 3

History of the Bill ................................................................. 3

Structure of the Bill ............................................................. 3

About the Bills Digest .......................................................... 3

Committee consideration .................................................... 4

Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills .............. 4

Policy position of non-government parties/independents ..... 4

Position of major interest groups ......................................... 4

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights .................... 4

Schedule 1—Ordinary waiting periods.................................. 5

Commencement ...................................................................... 5

The measures .......................................................................... 5

Financial implications ............................................................ 6

Schedule 2—Age requirements for various Commonwealth payments ................................................... 6

Commencement ...................................................................... 6

The measures .......................................................................... 6

Financial implications ............................................................ 6

Schedule 3—Income support waiting periods ....................... 6

Commencement ...................................................................... 6

The measures .......................................................................... 7

Financial implications ............................................................ 7

Schedule 4—Other amendments .......................................... 7

Commencement ...................................................................... 7

Date introduced: 16 September 2015

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Social Services

Commencement: Various dates as set out in the table in clause 2 of the Bill.

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.

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The measures .......................................................................... 7

Comment ................................................................................. 8

Financial implications .......................................................... 10

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Purpose of the Bill The purpose of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015 (the Bill) is to amend the Social Security Act 19911 and the Farm Household Support Act 20142 to:

• extend the application of an ordinary waiting period of seven days to recipients of Parenting Payment and Youth Allowance (Other).3 The ordinary waiting period currently applies to Newstart Allowance (NSA) and Sickness Allowance recipients4

• raise the eligibility age for NSA and Sickness Allowance from 22 to 25 years with effect from 1 July 2016. The age requirement for Youth Allowance will also be adjusted up from the current ceiling age of 21 years to 24 years

• introduce a new four-week waiting period for new claimants of Youth Allowance (Other) and Special Benefit5 who are aged under 25 years with effect from 1 July 2016 and

• introduce a requirement that job search activities be undertaken by new claimants of Youth Allowance (Other) and Special Benefit in the new four-week waiting period with effect from 1 July 2016.

History of the Bill On 28 May 2015 the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015 (the first Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives.6 However, the Government failed to secure the passage of the Bill through the Senate. A summary of the legislative history of the measures and the changes made to them is contained in the Bills Digest for the first Bill.7

Structure of the Bill The Bill contains four Schedules:

• Schedule 1 makes changes to the ordinary waiting period requirements for income support in equivalent terms to the changes in the first Bill

• Schedule 2 contains measures that increase the qualifying age for NSA and Sickness Allowance from 22 to 25 years and increase the age limit for Youth Allowance. These measures are also in equivalent terms to the changes in the first Bill

• Schedule 3 introduces a four-week income support waiting period. This differs only slightly from the changes in the first Bill and

• Schedule 4 contains a new measure that was announced as a part of the 2015-16 Budget.8 This measure requires young people subject to the four-week income support waiting period to undertake a number of additional job search activities during this period in order to qualify for the receipt of income support.

About the Bills Digest This Bills Digest begins by providing general information on the response of non-government parties and interest groups, committee consideration, financial implications and on the Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights. Each Schedule is then treated separately as each provides for a distinct measure. Where the measure is identical to one previously proposed (Schedules 1 and 2) or differs slightly (Schedule 3), only summary information is provided, with a brief analysis of the changes made. In the case of Schedule 4, which introduces a new measure, more detailed information and analysis of the provisions is provided.

1. Social Security Act 1991 (Cth), accessed 7 October 2015. 2. Farm Household Support Act 2014, accessed 7 October 2015. 3. Youth Allowance (Other) is Youth Allowance which is payable to a person who is not undertaking full-time study and is not a new apprentice. 4. The ordinary waiting period for Newstart Allowance is set out in sections 620 and 621 of the Social Security Act; the ordinary waiting period

for sickness allowance is set out in sections 693 and 694 of the Social Security Act. 5. Special Benefit is a payment for those in financial hardship who are unable to receive any other income support which is paid in accordance with the rules set out in Part 2.15 of the Social Security Act. 6. Parliament of Australia, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015 homepage, Australian

Parliament website, accessed 8 October 2015. 7. M Klapdor and M Thomas, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015, Bills digest, 120, 2014- 15, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 15 June 2015, accessed 7 October 2015. 8. Australian Government, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2: 2015-16, p. 159, accessed 14 October 2015.

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Committee consideration As at the time of writing, the Bill had not been referred to committee for inquiry and report.

Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills At its meeting of 17 September 2015, the Committee deferred consideration of the Bill to its next meeting.9

Policy position of non-government parties/independents The most controversial measure in the current Bill is the proposal to impose a four-week waiting period for income support on job seekers under the age of 25. The position of the Australian Labor Party (Labor), the Australian Greens (the Greens) and a number of the independents in relation to this measure is set out in full in the Bills Digest for the first Bill. 10 In addition, the dissenting reports which are part of the report by the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee (Community Affairs Committee) in relation to the first Bill indicate that neither Labor nor the Greens support the measure.11

There are no indications that any of the independents has changed their position with regard to the measure subsequent to their vote on the first Bill.12

Judging by the abovementioned Labor and Greens Senators’ dissenting reports, the Opposition and the Greens do not support the other two measures reintroduced by the Bill.

Position of major interest groups The positions of major interest groups on each of the reintroduced measures contained in the current Bill were canvassed in the Community Affairs Committee inquiry into the first Bill.

Most submissions to the Community Affairs Committee opposed the introduction of a four-week waiting period for income support. A number also expressed concerns about raising the eligibility age for NSA and Sickness Allowance and the tightening of ordinary waiting period requirements.13

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.14

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (Human Rights Committee) has released its comments on the Bill and the Statement of Compatibility.15 It previously examined the measures contained in Schedules 1 to 3 of the current Bill in the context of its scrutiny of the first Bill.16

In its initial assessment of the measure that increases the age requirements for NSA, Sickness Allowance and Youth Allowance (contained in Schedule 2), the Human Rights Committee found that the statement of compatibility did not sufficiently justify the limits to the right to equality and non-discrimination imposed by the measure. Accordingly, it sought the advice of the Minister for Social Services on the matter. Following its consideration of the Minister’s response, the Human Rights Committee determined that the measure could be considered compatible with the right to equality and non-discrimination, and concluded its examination of the

9. Selection of Bills Committee, Report no. 12 of 2015, The Senate, Canberra, 17 September 2015, accessed 12 October 2015. 10. Klapdor and Thomas, op. cit., pp. 5-6. 11. Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015 [Provisions], The Senate, Canberra, 2015, accessed 7 October 2015.

12. Australia, Senate, Journals, no. 113, 2013-15, 9 September 2015, p. 3075. 13. Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015, submissions, accessed 14 October 2015. 14. The Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights can be found in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill. 15. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-ninth report of the 44th Parliament, 13 October 2015, pp. 34-41, accessed

15 October 2015. 16. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-fourth report of the 44th Parliament, 23 June 2015, pp. 13-15, accessed 7 October 2015.

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matter.17 In its report on the current Bill, the Committee reiterates that it has concluded its consideration of the matter, based on the previous additional information provided by the Minister.

Following its consideration of the four week waiting period measure (contained in Schedule 3) as a part of its assessment of the first Bill, the Human Rights Committee found that the statement of compatibility did not adequately justify the limits to the right to social security and an adequate standard of living that the measure entailed.18 That being the case, it sought the advice of the Minister as to whether the measure was a proportionate means of achieving the Government’s stated objective of encouraging greater participation in work through establishing firm expectations for young job seekers.

Having considered the Minister’s response, the Human Rights Committee determined that the measure did not appear to be proportionate as it neither included an individual assessment for each person affected by the measure, nor did it provide safeguards to ensure that no individual would be left unable to meet their basic needs during the waiting period. The Human Rights Committee went on to observe that its assessment of the measure against the relevant articles of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant Civil and Political Rights raised questions as to whether the changes were justifiable under international human rights law.19

In its further assessment of the measure as presented in the current Bill, the Committee restated its position that, in the absence of sufficient protections, the measure could not be said to be the least rights restrictive means of achieving the Government’s objective.20 It also considered that because the pre-benefit requirements introduced under Schedule 4 of the Bill extend the obligations of job seekers under Schedule 3 of the Bill:

… they potentially compound the existing limitations on the right to social security and the right to an adequate standard of living. This is especially the case as the requirements in Schedule 4 would require job seekers to undertake activities that may result in the job seeker incurring costs (such as travel and clothing) while they are receiving no social security benefits.

21

That said, the report does note that the Committee was divided on the question of whether or not the measure had been sufficiently justified as a proportionate limitation on job seekers’ rights to social security and the right to an adequate standard of living. The Committee was similarly split where it came to the question of whether or not imposing income support waiting periods on people aged under 25, and thereby limiting the right to equality and non-discrimination under international human rights law, was justifiable.22

Schedule 1—Ordinary waiting periods Commencement The measures in Schedule 1 to the Bill commence on the earlier of a day fixed by Proclamation; or the end of the 12 month period after Royal Assent.

The measures This Schedule amends the Social Security Act to make changes to the ordinary waiting period requirements. These changes:

• extend the ordinary waiting period of seven days to recipients of Parenting Payment and Youth Allowance (Other). The ordinary waiting period currently applies to NSA and Sickness Allowance recipients

17. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-eighth report of the 44th Parliament, 17 September 2015, p. 55, accessed 7 October 2015. 18. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-fourth report of the 44th Parliament, op. cit., pp. 15-19. 19. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-eighth report of the 44th Parliament, op. cit., p. 59-63. 20. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-ninth report of the 44th Parliament, op. cit., pp. 39-40. 21. Ibid., p. 39. 22. Ibid., p. 41.

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• provide for the current exception to the ordinary waiting period to apply on the basis that a person is in severe financial hardship23 and that the person is experiencing a personal financial crisis,24 making it a more stringent test and

• clarify that the ordinary waiting period is to be served after certain other relevant waiting periods or preclusions have ended.

An overview of the background to this measure, including changes made to it is contained in the Bills Digest for the first Bill.25 The report of the Community Services Committee in relation to the first Bill also contains relevant information.26

Financial implications Estimates of the financial impact of the measures in Schedule 1 to the Bill over the forward estimates period (2015-16 to 2019-20) are provided in the Explanatory Memorandum, which states that they will produce savings of $241.0 million.27 However, these estimates are indicative only and may be subject to change, contingent on the date on which the measures commence and on the costs associated with their implementation.

Schedule 2—Age requirements for various Commonwealth payments Commencement The measures in Schedule 2 to the Bill commence on the earlier of a day fixed by Proclamation; or the end of the 12 month period after Royal Assent.

The measures This Schedule amends the Social Security Act and the Farm Household Support Act to raise, from 22 to 25 years, the eligibility age for NSA and Sickness Allowance from 1 July 2016. This will result in the age requirement for Youth Allowance being adjusted up from the current ceiling age of 21 years to 24 years.

An overview of the background to this measure is contained in the Bills Digest for the first Bill.28 The report of the Community Services Committee in relation to the first Bill also contains relevant information.29

Financial implications Estimates of the financial impact of the measures in Schedule 2 to the Bill over the forward estimates period (2015-16 to 2019-20) are provided in the Explanatory Memorandum, which states that they will produce savings of $517.0 million.30 However, this estimate is contingent upon the date of commencement of the measures.

Schedule 3—Income support waiting periods Commencement The measures in Schedule 3 to the Bill commence immediately after the provisions in Schedule 1 commence.

23. The note to proposed subsection 19DA(1) of the Social Security Act references subsections 19C(2) and 19C(3) for the meaning of in severe financial hardship. 24. The meaning of experiencing a personal financial crisis is defined in proposed section 19DA of the Social Security Act. 25. Klapdor and Thomas, op. cit., pp. 7-8. A brief analysis of the measure in its original form is contained in P Yeend and L Buckmaster, Social

Services and Other Legislation (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014, Bills digest, 14, 2014-15, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 19 August 2014, pp. 22-24, accessed 7 October 2015. 26. Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015 [Provisions], op. cit. 27. Explanatory Memorandum, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015, p. 1, accessed 14 October 2015. 28. M Klapdor and M Thomas, op. cit., p. 8. A brief analysis of the measure in its original form is contained in 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, 21 August 2014, pp. 33-36, accessed 7 October 2015. 29. Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015 [Provisions], op. cit. 30. Explanatory Memorandum, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015, accessed 7 October 2015.

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The measures This Schedule amends the Social Security Act to introduce a four week waiting period for new claimants of Youth Allowance (Other) and Special Benefit who are under 25 years of age from 1 July 2016.31

The waiting period will apply to those new claimants who are determined to be the most work-ready, that is, those claimants who are assessed as being eligible for Stream A services under jobactive employment services arrangements. Young people with barriers to employment (people classified as eligible for Stream B or C services) will be exempt.32

During the four week waiting period, new claimants will be obliged to participate in a RapidConnect Plus rapid activation strategy, introduced under Schedule 4 of the Bill. (For further details and analysis of the RapidConnect Plus arrangements, see below.) This strategy will require participants to undertake a number of additional job search activities as a precondition for receiving payment after the waiting period has been served. If participants fail to complete the required activities, this could result in their application for income support lapsing and their being forced to reapply.

An overview of the background to the four week waiting period is contained in the Bills Digest for the first Bill.33 The report of the Community Services Committee in relation to the first Bill also contains relevant information.34

The current Bill makes one relatively minor change to the measure as it was proposed in the first Bill.

As with the first Bill, item 6 of the Schedule 3 inserts proposed section 549CAA into the Social Security Act. However, the current Bill inserts an additional subsection—proposed subsection 549CAA(7). As noted above, the four week waiting period is to be applied only to those job seekers who have been classified as eligible for Stream A services under jobactive arrangements—that is, the most work-ready of job seekers. Proposed subsection 549CAA(7) provides for Youth Allowance claimants who are initially assessed as requiring Stream A services but then re-assessed as requiring more intensive Stream B or C services to be exempt from the waiting period. Item 9 inserts section 739AA into the Social Security Act and proposed subsection 739AA(6) in equivalent terms which applies the change to Special Benefit claimants.

Financial implications Estimates of the financial impact of the measures in Schedule 3 to the Bill over the forward estimates period (2015-16 to 2019-20) are provided in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill, which estimates that they will bring about savings of $173.3 million.35 That amount is dependent upon the date of commencement of the measures.

Schedule 4—Other amendments Commencement The measures in Schedule 4 to the Bill commence on the later of the date of commencement of the provisions in Schedule 2 to the Bill and the provisions in Schedule 3 to the Bill.

The measures Schedule 4 to the Bill amends the Social Security Act. As stated above, Schedule 3 to the Bill inserts proposed section 549CAA into the Social Security Act to set out the new income support waiting period. In particular, proposed paragraph 549CAA(2)(c) operates so that a person is not subject to an income support waiting period if they have already served a waiting period in the previous six months. However, this exemption is qualified by proposed subsection 549CAA(2A), inserted by item 1 of Schedule 4. Under this subsection the person may be subjected to a second income support waiting period within a six month period if the Secretary determines that

31. Special Benefit is a discretionary payment provided to those in financial hardship who are not able to receive any other form of income support. See Department of Human Services (DHS), ‘Special benefit’, DHS website, accessed 11 June 2015. 32. See Department of Employment, Request for tender for employment services 2015-2020, The Department, [Canberra], 2014, pp. 33-34, accessed 4 June 2015. 33. Klapdor and Thomas, op. cit., pp. 9-13. 34. Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015

[Provisions], op. cit. 35. Explanatory Memorandum, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015, accessed 7 October 2015.

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they have failed to comply with their Employment Pathway Plan requirements during the income support waiting period.36

Item 2 inserts proposed section 549CAC into the Social Security Act. This provides for the Secretary to determine that a person who is subject to a four-week income support waiting period is not paid income support if they fail to meet the requirement to enter into an Employment Pathway Plan and comply with the broad terms associated with their Plan. However, proposed subsection 549CAC(2) provides that the Secretary must not determine that income support is not payable where he, or she, is satisfied that the person has a reasonable excuse for failing to meet their requirements with regard to their Employment Pathway Plan. The Secretary must determine by legislative instrument those matters that are to be taken into account in deciding whether or not a person has a reasonable excuse.37

The Secretary may make a determination that income support is not payable to a person who has failed to meet their requirements with regard to an Employment Pathway Plan during or following the end of the waiting period.38 Whenever the determination is made, it does not take effect (that is, the income support is not payable) until the end of the four week income support waiting period.39 The purpose of allowing the Secretary’s determination to take effect at the end of the income support waiting period is to give the job seeker ‘maximum opportunity to comply with their pre-benefit activities in the relevant income support waiting period’.40

Where the Secretary determines that a person is not to be paid income support as a result of their failure to comply with their Employment Pathway Plan requirements, the person must make a new claim for Youth Allowance.41 Such a claim cannot be made until the end of the person’s income support waiting period.42 In determining the subsequent claim for Youth Allowance, the Secretary must disregard the previous determination.43 The effect of this is to ensure that the person is paid income support from the date on which the subsequent claim is granted.

Items 3 to 5 of Schedule 4 to the Bill insert proposed subsections 731L(1), 739AA(2A) and section 739AC into the Social Security Act. These provisions replicate the above amendments for Youth Allowance claimants, but in relation to Special Benefit claimants.

Comment This Schedule introduces the pre-benefit requirements that must be fulfilled by people subject to a four-week income support waiting period, in order for them to qualify for income support. These pre-benefit requirements are intended to complement the waiting period measure. While the income support waiting period is calculated to spur young people to maximise their efforts to find employment, the pre-benefit activities are anticipated to enhance their prospects of finding any jobs that might be available.

As noted in the Bills Digest for the first Bill, there is no substantive evidence that young Australians lack the will to work, or that they require any further impetus to look for work.44 In justifying the proposed new approach, the Government has on a number of occasions made reference to New Zealand’s system, under which some claimants of working age payments (not young people specifically) are obliged to undertake pre-benefit activities

36. Division 1, Subdivision E of Part 2.11 of the Social Security Act outlines the requirement for applicants for Youth Allowance to enter into an Employment Pathway Plan, and details the broad terms of such plans. In most instances, job seekers have a specific requirement to demonstrate that they are looking for work, including applying for a certain number of jobs each fortnight. These requirements are typically included in job seekers’ Employment Pathway Plans, along with other activities that are deemed necessary to help them gain employment. These activities could include attendance at various forms of assessment and assistance and at specified training, work experience and job interviews. While some of these activities may be optional, others may be compulsory. As such, job seekers are required to enter into and comply with an Employment Pathway Plan as a condition of receipt of income support. 37. Social Security Act, proposed subsection 549CAC(3). 38. Social Security Act, proposed paragraph 549CAC(5)(a). 39. Social Security Act, proposed paragraph 549CAC(5)(b). 40. Explanatory Memorandum, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015, p. 27, accessed 7 October 2015. 41. Social Security Act, proposed subsection 549CAC(6). 42. Social Security Act, proposed subsection 549CAC(7). 43. Social Security Act, proposed subsection 549CAC(8). 44. Klapdor and Thomas, op. cit., pp 11-13.

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within a 28 day period.45 These pre-benefit activities are broadly similar to those required under the RapidConnect Plus program.

For example, in response to a question on whether the Government has any evidence that the four week waiting period would prompt young people to get jobs, former Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison, stated:

Well I can only point to the New Zealand experience where they have introduced a similar measure and 40 per cent of those who entered that four week waiting period in New Zealand didn’t end up going onto benefits. Now that strikes me as a pretty good success rate and what we’re saying is, we don’t want for job ready young people, for the message to be that you go from the school gate to the Centrelink front door. Now the Labor party and the Greens and others think that’s the right answer, that we should be sending the message to young people that you walk out the school gates and you walk into the Centrelink front door and you treat the Centrelink catalogue like it’s an Ikea catalogue. That’s not what we should be doing. In New Zealand they have the runs on the board. Forty per cent of those entering that four week waiting period end up not going on the dole, but going into work and not being dependent on welfare benefits. I think that’s a project worth pursuing, that has results, and I think can provide a way forward.

46

However, the measures put forward in the Bill differ substantially from those applied in the New Zealand system.

Under New Zealand’s arrangements, new applicants for income support may be subject to pre-benefit requirements which must be completed within 20 working days or their claim will lapse.47 However, the pre-benefit requirements have no bearing on the new applicant’s date of entitlement for the commencement of benefits.

As such, when applicants have completed their pre-benefit obligations and their application has been processed they will receive their payment calculated from their commencement date.48 The commencement date is either the day after their ‘stand down period’, where applicable (this is the equivalent of Australia’s ordinary waiting periods), or their application date, whichever is the later. In effect, this means that all eligible recipients will receive back pay to their relevant commencement date. The length of time it takes before a job seeker actually receives any payment is thus dependent on the time taken to complete any pre-benefit obligations (along with any other relevant requirements).

Given that New Zealand’s arrangements are not comparable to those contained in the Bill, New Zealand researcher, Simon Chapple, has argued that the New Zealand pre-benefit activities requirement does not provide the support for the measure that the Government claims. Chapple observes that the New Zealand outcome

… doesn’t demonstrate that depriving young people—or anyone—of income support for 28 (or 20) days following application increases their likelihood of leaving welfare. Sure, some New Zealanders who apply for a benefit didn’t ‘end up on welfare’ after 28 days. But they also didn’t go through the kind of month-long wait with no income support which is promoted in the Australian Government’s proposed policy. New Zealand does not offer the positive example for Australia that Morrison suggests.

49

A number of commentators have observed that the waiting period measure is likely to place some young people in severe financial hardship.50 The Government has acknowledged this, having noted that emergency relief

45. See K Andrews (Minister for Social Services), New Zealand waiting period for benefits, media release, 23 September 2014, accessed 13 October 2015 and S Morrison (Minister for Social Services), Doorstop interview, transcript, Sydney, 6 August 2015, accessed 13 October 2015.

46. S Morrison (Minister for Social Services), Doorstop interview, transcript, 6 August 2015, accessed 13 October 2015. See also S Morrison, ‘Second reading speech: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015’, House of Representatives, Debates, 16 September 2015, p. 10331, accessed 13 October 2015.

47. New Zealand, Work and Income (WINZ), ‘Pre-benefit activities’, WINZ website, accessed 15 October 2015. 48. New Zealand, Work and Income (WINZ), Social Security Act 1964 (NZ), ‘Section 80: commencement of benefits’, WINZ website, as at 10 April 2015, accessed 15 October 2015. 49. S Chapple, ‘When it comes to the four-week wait for the dole, NZ comparisons ring hollow’, The Conversation, 18 September 2015, accessed

12 October 2015. 50. See J Ireland, ‘Federal Budget 2015: young unemployed will still go hungry, say agencies’, The Sydney Morning Herald, (online edition), 13 May 2015, accessed 13 October 2015; and Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth

Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015 [Provisions], The Senate, Canberra, 11 August 2015, accessed 13 October 2015.

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funding will be available for assistance to job seekers affected by the measure.51 As has been noted in the Bills Digest for the first Bill, there is a risk that withdrawing access to income support could have the unintended consequence of detracting from some young people’s ability to find and gain paid employment.52

Financial implications According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the measures in Schedule 4 to the Bill are expected to cost $0.8 million over the forward estimates period (2015-16 to 2019-20).53

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51. S Morrison, ‘Second reading speech: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015’, House of Representatives, Debates, op. cit. In his second reading speech on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015, Minister Morrison noted that $8.1 million in additional funding would be made available to assist those young people experiencing hardship as a result of the measure. S Morrison, ‘Second reading speech: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015’, House of Representatives, Debates, 28 May 2015, p. 4970, accessed 13 October 2015.

52. Klapdor and Thomas, op. cit., p. 12. 53. Explanatory Memorandum, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015, accessed 7 October 2015.