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Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Regional Students) Bill 2010 [2011]

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2010

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Regional Students) Bill 2010

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

 

SENATOR FIONA NASH, NEW SOUTH WALES



Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Regional Students) Bill 2010

 

OUTLINE

The Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Regional Students) Bill 2010 seeks to apply the same eligibility criteria for Independent Youth Allowance for students residing in the Inner Regional zone of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification - Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA) map as currently applies to students residing in the Outer Regional, Remote and Very Remote zones.

 

Under the current legislation this is not the case. On 18 March 2010 the House of Representatives passed the Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Students) Act 2010 which resulted in different eligibility criteria used for different zones, leading to unfair treatment of regional students when accessing Independent Youth Allowance.

 

Prior to the passage of that legislation, there were three criteria that students could use to access Independent Youth Allowance.

a)       Students worked part-time for at least 15 hours per week for at least two years since leaving school, or

b)       Students have been out of school for at least 18 months and have earned at least 75% of the maximum rate of pay under wage Level A of the Australian Pay and Classification Scale in an 18 month period - the 'gap year'.

c)        Students have worked an average of 30 hours per week for 18 months out of two years.

 

For students who reside in the Inner Regional zone, this has been reduced to option c) only under the current legislation.

 

To ensure fairness and equity for all regional students, the Social Security Amendment (Income Support for Regional Students) Bill 2010 requires the same eligibility criteria for Independemt Youth Allowance to apply to all four ASGC-RA zones.

 

This is achieved by the simple amendment in Schedule 1.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Financial impact is approximately $90 million per annum.

 

As part of the Coalition policy for the 2010 election, this measure to ensure that the same  Independent Youth Allowance eligibility criteria applied to all four regional ASGC-RA zones was to be budget neutral, with funding to be appropriated from the Education Investment Fund.