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Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2002

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2002

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

VETERANS’ AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO.1) 2002

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amendments to be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs,

The Hon Danna Vale, MP)





 

OUTLINE AND FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Outline

 

These government amendments to the Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2002 will clarify two of the proposed amendments included in the Bill and also repeal a series of other amendments relating to a measure which will not proceed.  All of the government amendments relate to amendments to the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 .

 

 

Financial impact

 

There is no financial impact.

 


 

GOVERNMENT AMENDMENTS

 

Amendments (1) to (5) are to the table of commencement provisions in clause 2 of the Bill.  The amendments remove the obsolete references to items 20, 55, 58, 59, 63, 66 and 68 of Schedule 6 of the Bill.  Those items are being repealed by Government amendments (7) to (12).

 

Amendment (6) repeals new paragraphs 5N(4)(a), (b) and (c) in item 1 of Schedule 4 of the Bill and inserts new paragraphs 5N(4)(a) and (b) in their place.

 

The repealed paragraphs are part of a technical amendment to correct a misdescribed amendment made by Schedule 19 of the Social Security and Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Family and Other Measures) Act 1997 .  The amendments made by Schedule 19 of that Act removed the entitlement to rent assistance of any person paying rent for living in premises for which a public housing tenant paid rent at a subsidised rate.  A person in such a situation is taken to be paying “Government rent” and will therefore not be eligible for rent assistance.

 

The misdescribed amendment purported to amend section 5N of the VEA to provide in new subsection 5N(4A) that the rent payable by a person in certain situations would not be regarded as “Government rent” and would entitle a person living in such premises to rent assistance.

 

The amendment proposed in Schedule 4 of the Bill to correct the misdescribed amendment did not properly reflect the circumstances in which the exception applied.  The proposed amendment was based on a misunderstanding of the circumstances in which the exception was applicable.

 

The replacement provision, new subsection 5N(4) correctly provides that the rent paid by a person for living in premises in respect of which another person is paying Government rent is also Government rent, unless:

 

·                 the rent payable by the other person is at or is above the market rate; or

·                 the person is sharing the premises with the person paying the Government rent; and

·                 the person’s income is taken into account in calculating the amount of rent payable in respect of those premises.

 

Amendments (7) to (12) repeal items 20, 55, 58, 59, 63, 66 and 68 of Schedule 6 of the Bill.

 

The repealed items proposed amendments to sections 29, 90, 90A, 91, 105, 115B and 117 of the VEA.  Those sections provide for the making of delegated legislation in various forms.  The proposed amendments were to provide for the incorporation in the delegated legislation of non-legislative documents that are in force from time to time.

 

The proposed amendments are not to proceed and are to be withdrawn from the Bill.

 

Amendment (13) repeals and replaces the amendment made by item 85 of Schedule 6.  That amendment had inserted a new subclause 9(2A) into Schedule 5 of the VEA.  This amendment clarifies the policy to be applied and removes the ambiguities that were present in the previously proposed amendment.  The amendment inserts new subclause 10(2A) into Schedule 5 of the VEA.

 

Clauses 9 and 10 of Schedule 5 of the VEA were inserted as part of the amendments made by the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Budget and Simplification Measures) Act 1997.   The amendments made by that Act removed the provisions of the VEA relating to child related payments as responsibility for the payments was transferred to the Department of Family and Community Services under the Social Security Act 1991 .

 

Clause 9 is a transitional provision which clarifies the position where the backdating of payments might be required after the repeal of the provisions relating to the child related payments.

 

Clause 10 preserved the child related payments in the service pension or income support supplement payments of all those persons who would have been disadvantaged by the transfer.

 

The amending Act also made amendments to the compensation recovery provisions of Part IIIC to delete the references to the “compensation affected component” of a person’s pension making the compensation recovery provisions applicable to the full amount of any “compensation affected pension”.

 

A “compensation affected pension” is defined for the purposes of Part IIIC as being an invalidity service pension, partner service pension or income support supplement received by a person who has not reached pension age.

 

New subclause 10(2A) of Schedule 5 provides that, for the purposes of the Part IIIC compensation recovery provisions, the invalidity service pension, partner service pension or income support supplement of any person who has not reached pension age will not include the child-related amount.