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Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (One-off Payment to the Aged) Bill 2001

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1998-1999-2000-2001

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (ONE-OFF PAYMENT TO THE AGED) BILL 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone)



FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (ONE-OFF PAYMENT TO THE AGED) BILL 2001

 

 

OUTLINE AND FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

 

The Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (One-off Payment to the Aged) Bill 2001 forms a part of the measures announced in the 2001-2002 Budget to give effect to the Government’s appreciation and acknowledgment of the contribution made by older Australians to society.

 

The Bill amends the Social Security Act 1991 , the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to provide for a one-off payment to the aged to be paid to those people who, on 22 May 2001, are of age pension age and are receiving a social security pension or benefit on 22 May 2001.

 

The amount of the one-off payment to the aged is $300.

 

It is estimated that 1.8 million people will receive a payment under this Bill.

 

Date of effect:

 

Royal Assent

 

Financial Impact:

 

The additional costs of paying the one-off payment to the aged to people receiving a social security pension or a social security benefit are as follows:

 

                                                                2000-01                 2001-02                 2002-03                 2003-04

                                                                $m                          $m                          $m                          $m

 

Measure                                Administered        547.7                      0.0                          0.0                          0.0                                          Departmental                  9.5                        0.0                          0.0                          0.0         

 

                                Total                      557.2                      0.0                          0.0                          0.0         

 



FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (ONE-OFF PAYMENT TO THE AGED) BILL 2001

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

This clause specifies that the short title of the Bill, when enacted, will be the Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (One-off Payment to the Aged) Act 2001 .

 

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

This clause specifies that the Bill commences on Royal Assent.

 

 

Clause 3 - Schedules

 

This clause gives effect to the Schedule to the Bill.



Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

 

Amendment of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

 

Items 1 and 2 amend the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to ensure that the one-off payment to the aged will not be subject to income tax.

 

 

Amendments of the Social Security Act 1991

 

 

Item 3 amends paragraph 8(8)(y) so that a one-off payment to the aged under regulations made under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 will also not count as income of the social security recipient for the purposes of the social security law.  Although a person will not be able to receive a one-off payment to the aged under both the social security laws and the veterans’ entitlements laws because a social security recipient’s partner’s income is counted as income of the social security recipient, the amendment is necessary to deal with cases where one member of a couple receives their one-off payment to the aged under the Social Security Act and the other member receives their one-off payment to the aged under the regulations made under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act.

 

Item 4 inserts new paragraph 8(8)(ya) so that if a social security recipient or their partner receive a payment made by the Commonwealth known as the one-off payment to the aged, the amount of that payment will not count as income of the social security recipient for the purposes of the social security law.

 

A one-off payment to the aged paid under the Social Security Act or the ABSTUDY Scheme will automatically be excluded from being counted as income for social security purposes (see paragraphs 8(8)(a) and (zf), respectively) and the amendment made by Item 3 .  However, the Social Security Act also needs to be amended to deal with the further situation where a person or their partner receive a one-off payment to the aged other than because they receive their one-off payment under the Social Security Act, under regulations made under the Veterans Entitlements Act or the ABSTUDY Scheme.

 

 

Item 5 provides for a one-off payment to the aged.

 

New subsection 93X(1) sets out the qualification criteria for the one-off payment to the aged.

 

New subsection 93X(2) provides that the amount of the one-off payment to the aged is $300.

 



 

Amendments of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

 

Normally, a person must make a claim to receive a social security payment.

 

However, Item 6 inserts new section 12A to provide that this is not necessary for a one-off payment to the aged.

 

Item 7 adds one-off payment to the aged to the list of lump sum payments in subsection 47(1).  The effect of adding it to the list is that although the normal rule will be that the one-off payment to the aged is to be paid to a social security recipient, the Secretary could also direct that it be paid to the person’s nominee on the person’s behalf.

 

Item 8 inserts new section 47A.

 

Under new section 47A, the one-off payment to the aged will be paid to a person on the earliest date that the Secretary to the Department of Family and Community Services considers that it is reasonably practicable to pay the person.

 

It is envisaged that wherever possible, the one-off payment to the aged will be paid on the person’s first social security payday that falls due after 17 June 2001 or in any event, before 1 July 2001.