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Social Security Payments for People Caring for Children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology.



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Parliament of Australia Departmentof Parliamentary Services

Contents

Introduction ............................................................................................................................................. 1

Note on Sources and further reading ................................................................................................. 1

List of Acronyms .................................................................................................................................. 2

A Short History of Payments for Families ................................................................................................ 3

The First Step ...................................................................................................................................... 3

Recognising the Costs of Children ...................................................................................................... 3

The Introduction of Widow Pensions ................................................................................................. 4

Family Allowances Replace Tax Allowances for Children ................................................................... 5

Assistance Extended to Sole Parents .................................................................................................. 5

Targeting Low Income Working Families ............................................................................................ 5

The Rationalisation of Pensions for Sole Parent Families ................................................................... 6

New Payments for Two Parent Families ............................................................................................. 6

Payments for Parents Simplified ......................................................................................................... 7

Family Assistance Simplified ............................................................................................................... 7

Payments for Parents and Welfare to Work Reforms ........................................................................ 7

List of tables

Table 1: Payments for People caring for Children Recipient Numbers from 1942 .................................. 8

Maternity Allowance 1912 to 1978, and 1996 to 2004, Maternity Immunisation Allowance from 1998, Maternity Payment from 2004, Baby Bonus from 2007 .................................................. 10

BACKGROUND NOTE Revised 29 January 2009

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

Dale Daniels Social Policy Section

Child Endowment 1941 to 1976, Family Allowance 1976 to 1992, Basic Family Payment 1993 to 1995, Family Payment 1996 to 1998, Family Allowance 1998 to 2000 and Family Tax Benefit Part A from 2000 ..................................................................................................................... 13

Table 2: Maximum Rates of Child Endowment 1941 to 1976, Family Allowance 1976 to 1992 and Basic Family Payment 1993 to 1995 ............................................................................................. 20

Table 3: Rates of Family Payment, 1996 to 1998, Family Allowance 1998 to 2000 and Family Tax Benefit Part A & Part B from 2000 ................................................................................................ 21

Widow Pension Class A 1942 to 1989 .................................................................................................... 22

Child's Allowance/Additional Pension or Benefit for Children 1943 to 1993 ........................................ 32

Table 4: Maximum Rates of Child's Allowance 1943 to 1963, Additional Pension for Children 1956 to 1992, Additional Benefit for Children 1945 to 1992, Family Income Supplement 1983 to 1987, Family Allowance Supplement 1987 to 1992 and Additional Family Payment 1993 to 1995 ....................................................................................................................................... 35

Mother's/Guardian's Allowance 1963 to 2000 ...................................................................................... 36

Table 5: Maximum Rate of Mother's/Guardian's Allowance, 1963 to 2000 ......................................... 37

Double Orphan's Pension from 1973 ..................................................................................................... 38

Table 6: Maximum Rates of Double Orphan's Pension from 1973 ........................................................ 39

Supporting Mother's Benefit 1973 to 1977, Supporting Parent's Benefit 1977 to 1989, Sole Parent's Pension 1989 to 1998 ............................................................................................................ 40

Table 7: Maximum Weekly Rates of Pension for Sole Parents from 1942 ............................................ 44

Table 8: Pension Means Tests Changes from 1942 ............................................................................... 47

Home Child Care Allowance 1994 to 1995, Parenting Allowance 1995 to 1998, Parenting Payment from 1998 ............................................................................................................................. 51

Family Tax Payment 1997 to 2000 ......................................................................................................... 55

Family Tax Benefit Part B from 2000 ..................................................................................................... 55

Child Care Benefit from 2000 ................................................................................................................. 57

Child Care Tax Rebate from 2004 .......................................................................................................... 58

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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Introduction

This is one of a series of chronologies dealing with the history of Social Security Payments produced by the Research Branch. The other chronologies in the series are:

Social Security Payments for the Aged, those with Disabilities and Carers, 1909 to 2008: A Chronology Social Security Payments for The Unemployed, the Sick and those in Special Circumstances, 1945 to 2008: A Chronology

Payments for sole parents are included in this document and those for widowed people in the document dealing with payments for those in special circumstances.

The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) makes, or has made in the past, a number of payments for children and child carers. This paper provides a short history of the development of these payments and a chronology of changes to each payment from their introduction to the present day.

The date from which measures take effect has been used to date changes. This means that certain measures which may have taken effect under one Government may have actually been legislated for under the previous Government. Where changes have been recently announced but not passed into law by the Parliament, they are placed according to the expected date of effect. Many changes that appear at the time of updating to be of minor importance and small administrative modifications to payments have not been included.

Rates of payment are generally not given in the text, but can be found in the tables. In the text, imperial currency is used until 1966 and decimal currency is used after that date. In the tables decimal currency is used throughout.

Note on Sources and further reading

In addition to the Commonwealth Budget Papers and Social Security legislation, the following publications have been used in the preparation of this paper:

Department of Social Security, Annual Report, various Department of Family and Community Services, Annual Report, various

Department of Social Security, Developments in social security: a compendium of legislative changes since 1908, Research and Statistics Branch Research Paper no. 20, Canberra, 1983

Kewley, T. H., Social security in Australia 1900-72, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1973

Kewley, T. H., Australian social security today: major developments from 1900 to 1978, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1980.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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List of Acronyms

AB Additional Benefit for Children

AFP Additional Family Payment

ALP Australian Labor Party

AP Additional Pension for Children

BFP Basic Family Payment

CA Child's Allowance

CCB Child Care Benefit

CE Child Endowment

CPI Consumer Price Index

DOP Double Orphan's Pension

DSS Department of Social Security

FA Family Allowance

FAS Family Allowance Supplement

FIS Family Income Supplement

FP Family Payment

FTBA Family Tax Benefit Part A

FTBB Family Tax Benefit Part B

FTP Family Tax Payment

GST Goods and Services Tax

HCCA Home Child Care Allowance

IRS Information and Research Services

JSA Job Search Allowance

LCP Liberal Party - Country Party Coalition

LNCP Liberal Party - National Country Party Coalition (Liberal Party - National Party Coalition from October 1982)

MA Maternity Allowance

MAT Maternity Payment

MGA Mother's/Guardian's Allowance

MIA Maternity Immunisation Allowance

Nat-CP Nationalist - Country Party Coalition

NSA Newstart Allowance

PA Partner Allowance

PgA Parenting Allowance

PP Parenting Payment

RA Rent Assistance

SA Sickness Allowance

SB Sickness Benefit

SMB Supporting Mother's Benefit

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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SpB Special Benefit

SPB Supporting Parent's Benefit

SPP Sole Parent Pension

UAP-CP United Australia Party - Country Party Coalition

UB Unemployment Benefit

WPa Widow Pension Class A

WPb Widow Pension Class B

WPc Widow Pension Class C

YA Youth Allowance

A Short History of Payments for Families

The First Step

Financial assistance to families with children was first introduced by the Fisher Government in October 1912. It took the form of a Maternity Allowance of five pounds (over two weeks wages for an unskilled worker) paid without a means test to both married and unmarried mothers. The measure was presented as an anti-poverty measure paid as a universal payment to avoid the stigma of charity. A similar payment had been introduced in 1911 in the UK, but it had been less generous and insurance based. The allowance received considerable public support and was claimed automatically in practically all cases of confinement by the late 1920s. It survived the cost cutting by Government during the Depression but was paid at a lower rate and subject to a means test from 1931 until 1943. The allowance was eventually abolished in 1978 by which time other child payments were considered to have made it unnecessary.

Recognising the Costs of Children

The introduction of a form of child endowment was a subject of political debate during the inter-war years both in Australia and the UK. Finally in 1941 the Menzies Government introduced a payment of five shillings per week for each child in a family after the first. A similar payment was not introduced in the UK until 1945. The introduction of child endowment dovetailed with the view expressed by the Chief Judge of the Court of Conciliation and Arbitration when delivering the judgement in the Basic Wage Enquiry 1940-41 that the basic wage was only adequate for a family of three. The new payment was also used to justify the deferment of any increase in the basic wage for six months. Eligibility for Child Endowment was extended to the first child in a family in 1950 by which time the original rationale based on the basic wage had ceased to hold sway.

Further payments for children of invalid pensioners and beneficiaries were introduced during the war years (child allowance in 1943 and Additional Benefit in 1945) to assist with the support of the first or unendowed children of pensioners and beneficiaries. The rate of Widow Pension when introduced in 1942 was also adjusted to cater for the maintenance of one child. In 1950 when Child

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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Endowment began to be paid to all children it was paid in addition to these other child payments. Between 1956 and 1965 these payments were extended to all children of pensioners and beneficiaries and paid in addition to the Child Endowment.

Table 1 shows trends in the numbers of recipients of child endowment and other payments added later.

The Introduction of Widow Pensions

Income support for widows and some sole parents was introduced in 1942 by the Curtin Government. Curtin had included a commitment to introduce pensions for widows in his 1940 election campaign policy speech. This form of income support had been included in most proposals from all sides of politics to expand the Commonwealth's involvement in income support since age and invalid pensions were introduced in 1909 and 1910 respectively. Unlike widow pensions introduced in the UK in 1925 and the USA in 1939, the Australian widow pension was not a contributory insurance-based payment and was therefore available to all widows who qualified under the means test. The structure of the new payment was drawn from the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Social Security which had been asked in 1941 by the Menzies Government to inquire into widow pensions. Consequently the legislation received bipartisan support.

By the 1940s considerable numbers of widows were in need of assistance. The 1947 Census counted 134 766 widows under 60 years of age. (Sole parents who were not widows were not counted at that time.) Many of these widows were eligible for war widow pensions but sufficient sole parents and other civilian widows were in financial need to push the numbers receiving Social Security Widow Pensions up to approximately 40 000 by 1950.

From the beginning the name of the payment was misleading. It was designed to assist women who had lost a partner and could not be expected to engage in employment due to child care responsibilities or age. Not all women in this category were eligible. De facto widows, deserted wives, divorced women and women whose husbands were in institutions for the insane were included but single mothers, wives of prisoners, women deserted by de facto husbands and women who had deserted their husband or agreed to separate were excluded. These exclusions reflected the influence on legislators of contemporary moral standards as did the requirement that pensioners be of 'good character' and 'deserving of a pension'. The result was the exclusion of many sole parents from eligibility. An indication of the public attitude to such assistance can be found in the protests from some conservative women's groups about the provision of assistance to de facto widows. Such assistance was condemned as encouraging adultery and undermining the institution of marriage.

Three types of Widow Pension were introduced in 1942. Widows with children were given a Class A pension while they had a dependent child. Those without children were given a Class B pension until retirement age if they were aged 50 years or older. Those without children and not old enough for a

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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Class B pension were given a Class C pension for 26 weeks immediately after the death of their husband. Only Class A pensions for widows with children are covered in this publication.

Family Allowances Replace Tax Allowances for Children

When Child Endowment was introduced, the Curtin Government abolished tax concessions for children to prevent wealthier parents gaining more assistance than parents ineligible for tax concessions. However concessions were reintroduced to the tax system. The monetary value of these concessions grew during the 1950s and 1960s while Child Endowment was eroded by inflation. The 1975 Henderson Poverty Inquiry Final Report recommended the abolition of tax concessions and an increase in the rate of Child Endowment especially for large families in order to redirect assistance to the poorest families. In 1976 the Fraser Government acted on this recommendation by abolishing tax concessions and introducing Family Allowance. The new payment was the same as Child Endowment in most respects but was paid at much higher rates. This was possible because revenue savings from abolishing tax concessions for children were used to increase expenditure on Family Allowance by 300 per cent when compared to expenditure on Child Endowment.

Assistance Extended to Sole Parents

Single women with children who were not eligible for Widow Pension because they were deserted wives who had not been deserted for six months, or who had not been married, or in a de facto relationship for the required three years, were given varying amounts of assistance by state government payments. In 1968 the Gorton Government began to partially fund that assistance under the States Grants (Deserted Wives) Act 1968. This form of assistance was the main income support for this growing group who were not catered for by the Widow Pension. Commonwealth expenditure under this Act increased from $1.9m in 1969-70 to $9.7m in 1972-73. Sole parents numbered 124 000 at the time of the 1966 Census. Their numbers had grown to 183 100 in 1974 when the first ABS Family Survey was conducted.

The Whitlam Government introduced the Supporting Mother's Benefit in 1973 to provide support for single mothers who were not being adequately catered for by existing arrangements. The rate of payment for this benefit was the same as for pensions in spite of the name it was given. Eligibility for Supporting Mother's Benefit did not commence until six months after the date of separation or birth of a child. As a result the States continued to provide assistance to single mothers until 1980 when immediate eligibility was introduced by the Fraser Government. That Government also extended eligibility to male sole parents and renamed the payment Supporting Parent's Benefit in 1977. By 1980 DSS payments were finally available to all categories of sole parents.

Targeting Low Income Working Families

The effectiveness of Family Allowance as a means of redistributing income to low income and larger families was severely eroded by the high inflation of the late 1970s and early 1980s in the absence of indexation. In 1982 the Fraser Government passed legislation for a new payment called Family

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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Income Supplement (FIS) which commenced in May 1983 after the Hawke Government had been elected. This type of payment was new to Australia because it was directed at low income working families with the objective of ensuring that low income working families could receive more while in employment than when unemployed. This was achieved by giving them entitlement to the equivalent of additional benefit for children.

FIS proved to be too limited a payment with a limited take up rate. Against a background of increasing concern over the extent of child poverty the Hawke Government made a commitment during the 1987 election campaign that by 1990 no Australian child would live in poverty. The main means employed to fulfil this commitment was a reworking of the system of income tested child payments. Rates of payment increased considerably, Rent Assistance was made available to low income working families and FIS was renamed Family Allowance Supplement and the income test was made more generous. Further development of family payments continued under the Hawke and Keating Governments. The main developments were indexation of rates, assets testing, the amalgamation of Family Allowance Supplement with Additional Pension and Benefit to form Additional Family Payment and the merging of Basic and Additional Family Payment to form Family Payment.

The Rationalisation of Pensions for Sole Parent Families

The reform of Widow Pensions continued in 1989 with the amalgamation of Widow Pension Class A and Supporting Parent's Benefit. The new payment was called Sole Parent Pension. The two payments had over time become almost identical and catered for essentially the same group. The demise of the Widow Pension marked the end of a transition from payments for 'respectable' widows with a few categories of less reputable sole parents hidden under the umbrella term Widow Pension, to payments based on the objective fact of sole parenthood.

New Payments for Two Parent Families

During the 1993 election campaign the Keating Government committed itself to introduce a Home Child Care Allowance to provide a source of independent income for women caring for children at home. This payment effectively replaced the tax rebate for dependent spouses with children. The payment was set at a level which was a slight increase on the value of the rebate but it was payable on a fortnightly basis. This allowed parents who were out of the work force for periods as short as a fortnight to qualify. The rebate had been inaccessible to parents who had earned even modest amounts during a financial year. Home Child Care Allowance was absorbed within a new payment within a year of its introduction. It became the basic component of a new Parenting Allowance in 1995. This new payment which was first announced in the Working Nation statement of 1994, was paid to the parent caring for children in low income families, irrespective of whether their spouse was working or in receipt of an income support payment.

During 1994 the Keating Government also committed itself to introduce a form of paid maternity leave in the spirit of ILO convention number 103 as part of the Accord Mark 7 agreement with the

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ACTU. In 1996 Maternity allowance was reintroduced as a lump sum payment equivalent to six weeks of Parenting Allowance.

Payments for Parents Simplified

In 1998 the Sole Parent Pension and the Parenting Allowance were amalgamated to form a single payment for people caring for children. The new payment called Parenting Payment was a tentative move towards simplification of the growing range of payments for families. Many of the distinctions between the two superseded payments were maintained in order to avoid reduced assistance for sole parents or the increased cost that a single set of rates and eligibility criteria would involve.

Family Assistance Simplified

Simplification of the structure of family payments was carried further in 2000 when a range of payments, child-care fee subsidies and tax concessions for families with children were replaced by three payments. The introduction in 1997 of the Family Tax Initiative, while directing extra assistance to families, did further increase the complexity of the system. The need for simplification was clear.

The new Family Tax Benefit provided income tested assistance for each dependent child (Part A) plus a payment for parents who stayed at home to care for children (Part B). Child Care Benefit brought the two existing child care fee subsidies into one payment.

Timed to coincide with the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax, these reforms also involved an element of compensation for the effects of that tax on families with children and an attempt to reduce poverty traps for low and middle income families.

Payments for Parents and Welfare to Work Reforms

In 2003 participation requirements were introduced for Parenting Payment recipients with a youngest child of high school age. This move was prompted by concerns that parents should be encouraged to retrain and reattach to the workforce. The eligibility criteria and paticipation requirements for Parenting Payment underwent major changes in 2006. As part of a broader set of Welfare to Work reforms, eligibility for new applicants for Parenting Payment was restricted to those with a youngest child aged less than eight years of age if single or six years of age if partnered. Those who would formerly been eligible were now eligible for Newstart Allowance but with a requirement to look for part-time work only. Participation requirements for those remaining on Parenting Payment were also increased.

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Table 1: Payments for People caring for Children Recipient Numbers from 1942

Part A: 1942-1975

Child Endowment (a)

Sole parents and widows payments (b)

At June Families Children Recipients

1942 487 674 909 847 -

1943 491 121 908 159 16 214

1944 503 140 921 973 16 107

1945 518 293 938 543 15 284

1946 533 819 964 531 15 707

1947 559 730 1 006 557 16 702

1948 586 415 1 050 357 17 732

1949 620 819 1 105 299 17 891

1950 662 949 1 836 322 17 760

1951 1 150 847 2 388 930 17 717

1952 1 205 421 2 517 869 17 424

1953 1 246 986 2 623 977 17 980

1954 1 280 439 2 716 974 18 100

1955 1 304 227 2 788 561 18 683

1956 1 339 807 2 875 664 19 511

1957 1 378 169 2 978 191 20 648

1958 1 415 378 3 073 945 20 970

1959 1 451 516 3 171 823 22 296

1960 1 476 835 3 252 413 23 240

1961 1 501 180 3 340 302 24 491

1962 1 523 074 3 420 134 24 584

1963 1 535 388 3 457 620 25 261

1964 1 555 630 3 631 047 27 371

1965 1 582 801 3 710 616 29 713

1966 1 610 490 3 762 646 31 796

1967 1 640 390 3 834 917 34 526

1968 1 669 390 3 890 853 35 899

1969 1 701 914 3 996 042 38 038

1970 1 749 734 4 079 378 44 064

1971 1 797 628 4 155 930 47 146

1972 1 843 478 4 234 500 49 811

1973 1 870 638 4 238 882 57 872

1974 1 889 070 4 260 739 90 370

1975 1 915 818 4 283 516 102 533

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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Part B: From 1976

Basic rate of family assistance (c)

More than basic rate of family assistance (d) Sole parent payments (e)

Partnered parent payments (f)

At June Families Children Families Children Recipients Recipients

1976 1 935 596 4 292 690 - 369 900 116 551 -

1977 2 051 673 4 302 344 - 426 900 127 013 -

1978 2 070 864 4 304 270 - 475 000 139 825 -

1979 2 059 921 4 230 642 - 494 200 151 181 -

1980 2 073 778 4 223 851 - 524 800 161 567 -

1981 2 092 225 4 227 164 - 576 400 194 468 -

1982 2 120 561 4 254 474 - 628 200 208 742 -

1983 2 155 714 4 303 289 - 830 000 224 489 -

1984 2 179 152 4 325 964 - 843 400 234 765 -

1985 2 191 191 4 323 474 - 854 100 246 295 -

1986 2 153 670 4 191 373 - 862 744 250 910 -

1987 2 136 668 4 125 159 - 876 233 248 907 -

1988 1 948 234 3 806 237 - 1 121 438 238 656 -

1989 1 927 015 3 760 462 550 904 1 135 242 239 469 -

1990 1 890 859 3 672 525 563 996 1 142 593 248 886 -

1991 1 911 196 3 699 446 635 680 1 275 771 265 720 -

1992 1 929 508 3 720 088 772 731 1 495 493 287 228 -

1993 1 933 696 3 724 408 810 219 1 623 943 298 444 -

1994 1 827 861 3 538 999 841 894 1 683 050 313 437 -

1995 1 804 118 3 486 316 836 590 1 671 372 324 941 -

1996 1 812 457 3 497 467 883 934 1 759 144 342 290 237 321

1997 1 811 745 3 491 160 918 538 1 821 230 358 893 239 317

1998 1 775 663 3 418 865 909 223 1 799 427 372 286 236 550

1999 1 773 185 3 441 194 926 315 1 770 622 384 821 227 677

2000 1 741 152 3 358 741 908 870 1 787 233 396 779 -

2001(g) 1 801 285 3 485 923 1 041 782 2 078 645 424 610 216 637

2002(g) 1 794 848 3 471 130 1 051 906 2 096 136 427 846 191 576

2003(g) 1 783 278 3 446 032 1 042 717 2 073 146 436 958 181 405

2004(g) 1 807 122 3 499 686 1 039 362 2 058 392 449 312 177 157

2005(g) 1 828 261 3 543 435 1 147 833 2 306 573 449 000 167 000

2006(g) 1 811 827 3 521 874 1 114 461 2 242 798 433 370 159 719

2007(g) 1 769 091 3 447 535 1 150 905 2 319 035 395 495 144 427

2008(g) 1 734 000 3 384 000 1 121 000 2 265 000 360 600 125 900

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Notes: (a) Child Endowment families data for 1964 to 1976 does not include those with students aged 16 to 21 only. (b) Includes Widow Pension Class A from 1942 and Supporting Mothers Benefit from 1973. (c) Includes Family Allowance 1976 to 1992, Basic Family Payment 1993 to 1995, minimum rate of Family payment 1996 to 1998, minimum rate of Family Allowance 1998 to 2000 and at least base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A from 2000. (d) Children for whom more than the basic rate was paid would also have received the basic rate, and are therefore counted under both headings. Includes Additional Pension or Benefit for Children 1976 to 1992, Family Income Supplement 1983 to 1987, Family Allowance Supplement 1988 to 1992, Additional Family Payment 1993 to 1995, more than minimum rate of Family Payment 1996 to 1998, more than minimum rate of Family Allowance 1998 to 2000 and more than base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A from 2000. Data for Childs Allowance and Additional Pension and Benefit for 1943 to 1975 are not publicly available. Payments for children of Special beneficiaries are not included prior to 1993. (e) Includes Supporting Mothers Benefit 1976 to 1977, Supporting Parents Benefit 1977 to 1989, Widow Pension Class A 1976 to 1989, Sole Parent Pension 1989 to 1998 and Parenting Payment (Single) from 1998. (f) Includes Parenting Allowance 1996 to 1998, Parenting Payment (Partnered) from 1998. Prior to 1996 payments for partnered parents were paid as part of income support for their spouses. No data on the numbers involved is available. (g) Family Tax Benefit data does not include payments made through the Australian Taxation Office.

Maternity Allowance 1912 to 1978, and 1996 to 2004, Maternity Immunisation Allowance from 1998, Maternity Payment from 2004, Baby Bonus from 2007

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation: Maternity Allowance Act 1912 (No. 8 of 1912) Social Security Legislation Amendment (Family Measures) Bill 1995

1912 From October Maternity Allowance (MA) was introduced at the rate of five pounds. It was paid on the birth of a child, except where the mother was an Asiatic or an Aboriginal of Australia, Papua or the Pacific islands. MA was not subject to a means test and was not taxable; only one allowance was paid where multiple births occurred.

Fisher, ALP

1926 From August the eligibility conditions were rephrased to exclude aliens rather than Asiatics. Bruce-Page, Nat-CP

1931 From July the Financial Emergency Act reduced the rate of MA to four pounds. An income test on MA was introduced. No MA was payable where the joint income of the family exceeded 260 pounds per year.

Scullin, ALP

1932 From October the amount of permissible income was reduced to 208 pounds per year.

1934 From August the Financial Relief Act liberalised the income test and modified the rate structure of MA. Where the mother had other children MA was increased by five shillings for each child under 14 years of age, to a maximum of five pounds. The

Lyons, UAP-CP

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

permissible income limit was also increased: the limit of 208 pounds per year increased by 13 pounds for each child in the family after the first, to a ceiling of 299 pounds.

1936 From September the minimum MA was increased to 4 pounds 10 shillings and the system of graduated payments was eliminated, except for an extra 10 shillings where there was more than one child. The permissible income limit was increased to 221 pounds per year where there was only one child, rising to a ceiling of 312 pounds where there were other children.

1937 From December the rate structure of MA was restored. The new rates were, 4 pounds 10 shillings for the first child; 5 pounds where there were one or two other children; 7 pounds 10 shillings where there were three or more other children. The permissible income limit was increased to 247 pounds per year where there was one child, rising to a ceiling of 338 pounds per year where there were other children.

1942 From July eligibility was extended to Aboriginal women who were exempted from State laws relating to the control of Aboriginal natives and who were considered suitable to receive MA.

Curtin, ALP

1943 From July the income test was abolished. MA was increased to 15 pounds where there were no other children under the age of 14 years; 16 pounds where there were one or two other children; and 17 pounds 10 shillings in cases of three or more children. These amounts included an additional allowance of 25 shillings per week in respect of the period four weeks before and four weeks after the birth, to be paid after the birth.

1947 From July

• A prepayment of MA of five pounds could be made up to four weeks before the expected date of delivery.

• Rather than separate rates for twins and so on, the Act was amended to provide for an allowance of five pounds for each child in excess of one born from a single confinement.

Eligibility was extended to a mother who was an alien if she had 12 months residence.

Chifley, ALP

1956 From October the amount of MA that could be paid prior to the birth of the child was increased to 10 pounds. Menzies, Lib-CP

1959 From September restrictions on the payment of MA to Aborigines were removed.

1978 The provisions for MA were repealed. No MA was payable for births occurring after 31 October 1978. Fraser, Lib-NCP

1996 From February MA was reintroduced. MA was paid at a rate Keating, ALP

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

equivalent to six weeks of Parenting Allowance (PgA) for each child born. Initially the rate was $840.60. It was also paid for still-born children, adopted new-born children and children who died soon after birth. Families who met the Basic Family Payment income and assets test were eligible. MA was tax free.

1998 From January a portion of MA was renamed Maternity Immunisation Allowance (MIA). It was paid in respect of children who had reached the age of 18 months and who had received age-appropriate immunisation (unless the child was exempt from that requirement). MIA was also paid in respect of children who were stillborn or died before reaching the age of 18 months. The rate of MIA was $200 and the adjusted rate of MA was $750.

Howard, Lib-NP

2000 From July the rate of MA rose to $780 and the rate of MIA to $208. These rate rises were part of the compensation package for the impact of the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2000.

2004 From July MA and the First Child Tax Refund (administered by the Australian Taxation Office) were replaced by Maternity Payment (MAT). The First Child Tax Refund (also referred to as the Baby Bonus at the time) was introduced in 2002 and provided tax refunds of up to $2500 per annum for five years for mothers after the birth of their first child.

MAT was paid as a lump sum of $3000 for each newborn child and each child adopted at less than 26 weeks of age. No means test applied. The rate of payment was scheduled to increase to $4000 in July 2006 and to $5000 in July 2008.The rate of MAT was indexed in March and June of each year.

MIA was made income test free.

2005 From July MAT was paid for adopted children under the age of 2 years.

2006 From July the rate of MAT was increased to $4000 as prescribed in the initial legislation. Indexation continued to occur after this rate increase.

2007 From July MAT was renamed Baby Bonus (BB). This was a name change only.

From 17 August BB was paid in 13 fortnightly instalments to people who were subject to the income management regime. Under this regime income support payments and family assistance payments could be partially or wholly withheld from recipients and provided in such a way as to ensure that the money could only be spent on certain approved goods and services. This quarantining of payments was applied to people in receipt of income support where their children were at risk of

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

neglect. Where this regime applied the BB payments in their entirety were subject to quarantining.

2008 From July indexation of BB was changed from twice yearly indexation in March and September to annual indexation in July. Rudd, ALP

2009 From January BB was income tested so that families with an estimated adjusted taxable income of more than $75 000 in the six months after the birth of the child were no longer eligible. This threshold was indexed in July each year. BB could be claimed up to 52 weeks after the birth of the child.

BB was paid to all claimants as 13 fortnightly payments.

BB could be paid to adopting parents for adopted children who were up to 15 years of age (an increase from the previous limit of 2 years of age).

MIA was changed into two equal payments payed when children met the 18 month and 4 year old immunisation requirements. It was also paid for children adopted from overseas who were up to 15 years of age and who met the immunisation requirements after arrival in Australia.

Child Endowment 1941 to 1976, Family Allowance 1976 to 1992, Basic Family Payment 1993 to 1995, Family Payment 1996 to 1998, Family Allowance 1998 to 2000 and Family Tax Benefit Part A from 2000

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation: Child Endowment Act 1941 (No. 8 of 1941)

1941 From July Child Endowment (CE) was paid direct to the mother, at a flat rate of five shillings per week for each child after the first under the age of 16 years. Children living in Commonwealth or State government institutions were excluded from endowment. It was not subject to any means test, nor was it taxable. A child for endowment purposes had to be under 16 years of age. Both the claimant and child had to have been born in Australia or resident in Australia for twelve months immediately prior to the claim. Children of alien fathers were excluded from eligibility unless they were born in Australia or the mother was a British subject.

Menzies, UAP-CP

1942 From July eligibility for CE was extended to children in Government institutions and, retrospectively, to Aboriginal children who lived for six months per year on a mission station, and children who were maintained from a deceased estate.

Curtin, ALP

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

1947 From July amendments were made to the legislation to allow Australians temporarily absent from Australia and newly arrived migrants to receive child endowment.

Chifley, ALP

1950 From June CE of five shillings per week for a first child aged under 16 years was introduced. CE for the second and each additional child continued at 10 shillings per week. This change established the principle of differential rates of endowment contingent on the position of a child in a family.

Menzies, Lib-CP

1964 From January

• CE for the third and each additional child under 16 years in families, and for a child in an institution, increased by five shillings to 15 shillings per week.

• Provision was made for the payment of CE of 15 shillings per week for each student child aged from 16 years to 20 years receiving full-time education and not in employment.

1976 From June

• Family Allowance (FA) replaced CE. Under the scheme the rates were $3.50 per week for the first child, $5.00 per week for the second, $6.00 per week for each of the third and fourth children, and $7.00 per week for each additional child. FA was not subject to any income or assets test, nor was it taxable.

• The age at which FA ceased to be payable for dependent students was increased from 21 to 25 years.

Fraser, Lib-NCP

1978 From October

• FA ceased to be payable in respect of student children receiving invalid pensions.

• Payment of FA was no longer made outside Australia except where the child was temporarily abroad or living abroad pending migration to Australia (within four years). FA ceased to be payable for children living abroad with a person receiving an Australian pension or benefit.

1979 From January FA ceased to be payable for children receiving student allowances under the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme and other related scholarship schemes. Appropriate adjustments were made to these allowances to ensure that all families of tertiary students received broadly the same base payments.

From May FA was paid on a monthly basis. Adjusted equivalent rates per month were, first child $15.20; second child $21.70; each of the third and fourth children $26.00; fifth and each additional child $30.35; child in an institution $21.70.

1982 From August FA ceased to be payable to certain temporary residents of Australia (diplomats, consuls, defence personnel of other countries, and members of their families), or to prohibited

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

immigrants.

From October FA was no longer payable in respect of a child who became a Supporting Parents Benefit recipient. A savings provision protected existing recipients.

From November FA could continue to be paid in cases where a child was leaving school and seeking employment, up to the time they received unemployment benefits, or found work or otherwise ceased to qualify for FA.

1983 From March a rehabilitation allowance was introduced. FA ceased to be payable for recipients of the rehabilitation allowance.

Hawke, ALP

1985 From November

• FA ceased to be payable for dependants aged 18 and over. This did not apply where the FA claimant was receiving a pension, benefit or allowance which included a component paid for the dependant or which was paid entirely because of that dependant, and where the dependant was not otherwise receiving a tertiary education allowance; or the dependant was receiving a payment under the Secondary Allowance Scheme, the Aboriginal Secondary Grants Scheme or the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme.

• An addition to FA for families with multiple births was introduced. An additional $150 per month for triplets and $200 per month for quadruplets or higher multiples became payable until the children reached six years of age.

• FA could continue to be paid to the parent of a child in an institution where the institution chose not to receive FA for the child.

1986 From January FA for dependants aged 16 years or more ceased to be payable if the dependant received a payment under the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme, Adult Secondary Education Assistance Scheme, Aboriginal Study Grants Scheme, Postgraduate Awards Scheme, or Secondary Allowance Scheme.

From December FA for 16 and 17 year olds became subject to an income test. No FA was payable where parental income (as assessed for the previous financial year) exceeded $39 000 per year.

1987 From October FA became payable for children who were overseas only if the child was an Australian resident or had been an Australian resident and was living overseas with the person entitled to receive the FA payment.

From November the income test on payments for 16 and 17 year olds was replaced by a tapered income test applying to all FA payments. The full rate of FA was payable for joint annual taxable income of up to $50 000 per year for one child; the

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

income test limit increased by $2500 for each additional child. Each $1.00 of annual income in excess of the applicable limit reduced the rate of FA payable by $0.25 per year.

1988 From December FA became payable on a fortnightly, rather than a monthly basis, in combination with payments of Family Allowance Supplement (FAS) (see below). The new fortnightly rates of FA to apply for the period to 30 June 1989 were: $9.80 for the first child, $13.95 for the second, $16.70 for each of the third and fourth and $19.55 for each of the fifth and any additional children.

1989 From January the FA income test limits became subject to yearly indexation moving in line with movements in the CPI over the previous financial year. The income test thresholds applying from that date became $53 550, plus $2 678 for the second and each additional child.

From July the rates of FA were increased. At the same time the rate structure was changed so that a flat rate of $9 per week was payable for each of the first three children in a family and a higher flat rate of $12 per week was payable for each of any additional children in a family or for each child in an institution.

From October selective income reviews were introduced.

1990 From January

• Annual indexation was introduced. The first rise related to movements in the CPI over the period December 1988 to June 1989. Rises in later years related to movements in the CPI for the previous full financial year. (See Table 2 for payment levels.)

• FA was no longer paid for children under 16 years who earned more than $100 a week.

• FA ceased to be paid on the sixteenth birthday of children who qualified for a Commonwealth education allowance.

• The rate of multiple birth payments became subject to yearly indexation in line with movements in the CPI for the preceding financial year.

1991 In January

• FA became fully indexed in line with movements in the CPI for the 1989-90 financial year. (See Table 2 for payment levels.)

• FA was once again paid for children aged 16 years or over receiving payments under the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme.

• The taper in the income test was removed so that no FA was payable as soon as income exceeded the applicable threshold.

• From August where a child died the parent could be eligible for special assistance in the form of continued payment of FA

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

for four weeks.

1992 From January

• An assets test was introduced for FA. Assets exceeding $600 000 (excluding the family home) removed entitlement to FA. The assets of all immediate family members were included. Hardship provisions applied so that families whose assets exceeded $600 000, but whose estimated income for the current year was below the married pension rate and whose available funds were less than $6 000 if single and $10 000 if married, retained entitlement.

• FA was back-paid to the date of the childs birth if the claim was lodged within 13 weeks (previously four weeks) of the date of birth.

• A Family Allowance Bonus was paid on pay day 2 April 1992. It consisted of $125 for one child, $175 for two, $200 for three, $225 for four, $225 for five and $250 for six or more.

Keating, ALP

1993 From January

• FA was renamed Basic Family Payment (BFP).

• BFP was payable to a child until the end of the year in which they turned 18 years of age or ceased secondary studies, whichever occurred first.

• Half of the first child rate of BFP for up to a six month period could be paid in advance as a lump sum.

1994 From January

• The income test limits were lowered to $60 000 per annum and the additional amount allowed for each extra child was reduced to $3 000.

• The asset limit under the assets test was reduced to $550 000.

• Certain employer-provided fringe benefits were treated as income under the income test.

• Income received from foreign sources was taken into account under the income test.

1996 From January

• BFP and Additional Family Payment (AFP) were replaced by a single payment called Family Payment (FP). FP retained the three age-related rates of payment that applied to AFP as maximum rates. A minimum rate of $21.70 applied where recipients did not qualify under the AFP income and assets tests, but did qualify under the BFP income and assets tests. A Large Family Supplement was paid to families with four or more children at the rate of $7.20 for each fourth and subsequent child. The maintenance income test applied to FP when paid at more than the basic rate.

• Families whose income fell were able to receive FP based on an estimate of their current year income regardless of how small the reduction in income was. Families whose income

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

increased had their FP reassessed if their estimated income was 10 per cent higher than their base tax year income.

• FP was paid to the primary carer of the child rather than automatically being paid to the female member of a couple.

1998 From January the above minimum rate of FP could be paid while a FP child and/or recipient were outside Australia for up to 8 weeks.

From April FP was renamed Family Allowance (FA).

From July the more than minimum rate of payment for secondary students aged 16 to 18 years was abolished as part of a reform package for youth education and unemployment payments, which saw the introduction of the Youth Allowance (YA).

Howard, Lib- NP

1999 From July payers of child support with second families had 50 per cent of any child support paid disregarded as income when their family's entitlement to FA was calculated under the income test.

From October eligibility for FA was extended to jobseekers who were aged 18 to 21 years and full-time students aged 18 to 24 years, where they qualified for little or no YA. They qualified for a new minimum rate of $50 per fortnight. Claimants could choose to apply for YA or FA in order to maximise their entitlement.

2000 From July FA was replaced by a new payment called Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTBA). FTBA also replaced both Family Tax Assistance Part A and Family Tax Payment Part A. Its introduction was part of a broader reform of family payments which coincided with the introduction of and compensated for the impact of the GST in July 2000.

FTBA provided a number of different rates of payment depending on the income of the family and the age of each child. Families with income below $28,200 pa were eligible for $3,029.50 pa ($116.20 pf) for each child aged under 13 years, $3,839.80 pa ($142.20 pf) for each child aged 13 to 15 years, $974.55 pa ($37.38 pf) for each 16 to 17 year old not receiving YA, and $1307.70 pa ($50.12 pf) for each 18 to 21 year old (24 if a student) not receiving YA.

Families with incomes up to $73,000 plus $3000 for each child after the first were eligible for $974.55 pa ($37.38 pf) for each child. Rates and eligibility conditions for Rent Assistance (RA), multiple birth allowance and large family supplement remained largely unchanged apart from some increases to compensate for the impact of the introduction of the GST in July 2000. Indexation of rates was undertaken in July each year rather than January.

FTBA was not subject to an assets test. The income test included a taper rate of 30 per cent rather than the 50 per cent taper that

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

had applied to FA. The taper applied to both the lower and the higher income thresholds. Income continued to be assessed by using taxable income adjusted to take account of fringe benefits, foreign income and net rental property losses. However estimated current financial year income was used rather than actual income from an earlier financial year.

2001 From July payers of child support with second families had the full amount of any child support paid disregarded as income when their family's entitlement to FTBA was calculated under the income test.

2004 From June a one off lump sum payment of $600 per child was made to families entitled to FTBA during 2003-04.

From July a person who had been out of Australia for more than 13 weeks could only receive the base rate of FTBA. Also the base rate could only be claimed for a child who had been out of Australia for more than 13 weeks. Previously the time limit had been 26 weeks.

A $600 lump sum supplement to the maximum and base rates of FTBA was introduced, to be paid after the end of each income year when benefit paid was reconciled with entitlement based on the families actual adjusted taxable income. The supplement was applied from the 2003-04 income year and was indexed on 1 July each year. As the payment was made at the time of reconciliation it reduced or eliminated any debt accrued during the course of the previous year as a result of underestimation of family actual income.

The taper rate that applied to the withdrawal of the maximum rate under the income test for FTBA was reduced from 30% to 20%.

2006 From July the income test free area under the FTBA income test was increased to $40,000 pa.

Families with three children were made eligible for Large Family Supplement in addition to those with four or more children who already received it.

Under the maintenance income test, a maintenance income credit was introduced to allow parents to save up their unused maintenance income test free areas from previous years to offset against late child support payments received in subsequent years.

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

2008 From January the age limit for multiple birth allowance was increased from 5 years of age to 15 years of age or to the end of the year in which the child turned 18 if they were a full-time student.

Rudd, ALP

Table 2: Maximum Rates of Child Endowment 1941 to 1976, Family Allowance 1976 to 1992 and Basic Family Payment 1993 to 1995

Child in a family

Payable from First child Second child Third child Fourth child

Fifth and each extra child

Each child in an

institution(a)

($ per week)

01.07.41 - 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

26.06.45 - 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.75

09.11.48 - 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00

20.06.50 0.50 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00

14.01.64 0.50 1.00 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50

19.09.67 0.50 1.00 1.50 1.75 (b)2.00 1.50

12.10.71 0.50 1.00 2.00 2.25 (b)2.50 2.00

15.06.76 3.50 5.00 6.00 6.00 7.00 5.00

($ per month)

15.05.79 15.20 21.70 26.00 26.00 30.35 21.70

15.12.81 15.20 21.70 39.00 39.00 45.55 39.00

15.10.82 22.80 32.55 39.00 39.00 45.55 39.00

($ per fortnight)

29.12.88 9.80 13.95 16.70 16.70 19.55 16.70

13.07.89 18.00 18.00 18.00 24.00 24.00 24.00

11.01.90 18.60 18.60 18.60 24.80 24.80 24.80

10.01.91 20.00 20.00 20.00 26.70 26.70 26.70

09.01.92 20.70 20.70 20.70 27.60 27.60 27.60

07.01.93 20.90 20.90 20.90 27.90 27.90 27.90

06.01.94 21.30 21.30 21.30 28.40 28.40 28.40

01.01.95 21.70 21.70 21.70 28.90 28.90 28.90

Notes: (a) Endowment was not extended to children in government institutions until 30 June 1942. (b) With a 25 cent cumulative increase for each additional child.

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Table 3: Rates of Family Payment, 1996 to 1998, Family Allowance 1998 to 2000 and Family Tax Benefit Part A & Part B from 2000

Payable from

Maximum Rates per Child

Minimum Rate per Child

Large Family Supplement for Each Fourth and Extra Child Child under 13 Child 13-15

Student 16-18(a)

($ per fortnight)

01.96 93.10 121.10 58.20 22.70 7.50

01.97 96.00 124.90 60.00 23.40 7.70

01.98 96.40 125.40 60.20 23.50 7.70

01.99 99.00 128.80 0.00 23.70 7.80

01.00 101.60 132.20 50.00 24.00 7.90

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Family tax benefit part A

Family tax benefit part B

Maximum Rates per Child

Base rate per child

Rate per student

Rate per family

Payable From

Child under 13

Child 13-15 Child 0-15

Under 18

18-24

Annual

Supplement per child

Large Family

Supplement

Youngest aged under 5

Youngest aged 5-18

Annual

Supplement per family

($ per fortnight) ($ p.a.) ($ per fortnight) ($ p.a.)

07.00 116.20 147.28 37.38 37.38 50.12 - 7.98 99.82 69.58 -

07.01 122.92 155.82 39.48 39.48 53.06 - 8.40 105.56 73.64 -

07.02 126.70 160.72 40.74 40.74 54.74 - 8.68 108.78 75.88 -

07.03 130.48 165.48 42.00 42.00 56.42 - 8.96 112.00 78.12 -

07.04 133.56 169.40 42.98 42.98 57.82 613.20 9.24 114.66 79.94 150

(from 1 Jan)

07.05 137.06 173.74 44.10 44.10 59.36 627.80 9.52 117.60 82.04 306.6

07.06 140.84 179.76 45.36 45.36 61.04 646.05 9.80 120.96 84.28 313.90

07.07 145.46 189.00 46.90 46.90 63.00 667.95 10.08 125.02 87.08 324.85

07.08 151.34 196.84 48.30 48.30 64.96 686.20 10.36 128.80 89.74 335.80

Note: (a) This rate abolished from July 1998 as part of Youth Allowance reform. From October 1999 a new rate introduced for all aged 18 to 21 year and students aged 18 to 24 years who qualify for little or no Youth Allowance.

Widow Pension Class A 1942 to 1989

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation: Widows Pensions Act 1942 (No 19 of 1942)

1942 From June, as part of a broader scheme of Widow Pensions, Widow Pension Class A (WPa) was paid to widows with at least one dependent child aged under 16 years. The term 'widow' included de facto widows who had been living with the deceased spouse for at least three years prior to his death and had been maintained by him. Eligibility was also given to deserted de jure wives who had been deserted for at least six months, divorced women who had not remarried and women whose husbands were in hospitals for the insane.

Curtin, ALP

Claimants were required to be resident in Australia and to have

resided in Australia continuously for a period of five years immediately prior to their application. Aliens and the indigenous people of Australia, Africa, the Pacific and New Zealand were excluded from eligibility. This exclusion did not apply to

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Government at Commencement

Aboriginal people who were exempt from state laws 'relating to the control of Aboriginal natives' or who lived in a state where such exemptions did not exist and who were eligible on the rounds of 'character, intelligence and development'.

A means test was applied to WPa. Property above the value of

1 000 pounds excluded a widow fro eligibility. Changes in the allowable property value since 1942 are set out in Table 7. Homes, furniture and personal effects were excluded from the calculation of this property value. The pension payable was also reduced by an amount equivalent to any income in excess of 32 pounds ten shillings per annum. Income included five per cent of the value of any property owned (excluding those categories mentioned above) or the actual income received, whichever was the greater. Changes in this permissible income level since 1942 are set out in Table 8. WPa was paid four-weekly in arrears and the rate was subject to quarterly adjustment according to movements in the retail price index.

Widows were eligible for additional payments for their children.

See the chapter on Child Allowance and Additional Pension and Benefit for Children for details.

From July WPa was exempted from income tax.

1944 From April quarterly adjustment of rates was abolished.

1946 From August various insurance products and deceased estates not yet received were disregarded when calculating the property value.

Five per cent of the value of property or any actual income from property was no longer assessed under the income test.

Chifley, ALP

1947 From July WPa was paid fortnightly.

Any child maintenance income over 15 shillings per week was made assessable as income.

New recipients of a War widow's Pension were no longer eligible for WPa. Those already receiving both pensions were subject to transitional arrangements.

Discretion t continue payment for up to two years after the youngest child turned 16 years of age, where that child was a full-time student dependent on the pensioner, was given to the Director-General of Social Services.

A component for children was added to the income allowed before pension was reduced under the income test. Five shillings per week was allowed for the first child aged under 16 years and ten shillings per week for each additional child aged under 16 years.

1950 From August a Pensioner Medical Service scheme providing free Menzies, Lib-CP

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Government at Commencement

general practitioner services and medicines was introduced.

1951 From October the income disregard for second and subsequent children was reduced to five shillings per week.

1952 From September the residence requirement was reduced to one year where the couple were living permanently in Australia at the time of the death of the husband.

1955 From November participation in the Pensioner Medical Service was limited to those pensioners with weekly private income of two pounds or less.

1958 From October Supplementary Assistance of 10 shillings per week became available to widows paying rent.

1960 From February most restrictions on the eligibility of Aboriginal people were removed.

1961 From March the merged means test was introduced. It combined the separate income and property-based means tests. A deemed income amount equivalent to one pound for every ten pounds worth of property above 1000 pounds was added to other income in applying the new test. However no property income was deemed where property was valued at less than 2250 pounds. The rate of pension was calculated by deducting from the maximum annual rate income in excess of 182 pounds per annum.

1963 From September a Mother's Allowance was introduced and paid to WPa recipients. This payment is examined in a separate chronology in this paper.

WPa was made payable until the end of the year in which the youngest dependent student reached 18 years of age.

1964 From October telephone rental concessions, reducing annual rental costs by one third, were introduced for pensioners.

1965 From October WPa was made payable until the youngest dependent student reached 21 years of age.

1966 From January the separate means test applying to the Pensioner Medical Service was abolished. All pensioners were now eligible for benefits under the service.

From September any child maintenance income over three

pounds per week for each child was assessable as income.

Pensions became payable to aliens.

Holt, Lib-CP

1968 From September the residency requirement for eligibility for WPa was removed where the widow and her husband had been permanent residents at the time of death.

A vocational training scheme for WPa recipients was introduced.

Gorton, Lib-CP

1969 From September the means test was modified to include a

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Government at Commencement

tapered reduction of the maximum rate. The rate of pension was now reduced by only half the income assessed in excess of the income test free amount. Eligibility for fringe benefits including the Pensioner Medical Service benefits was still determined under the means test without a taper.

Women widowed outside of Australia became eligible for

pension on returning to Australia if they had lived in Australia for 10 years continuously at any time.

1971 In April rates of pension were increased, but the full increase was restricted to full-rate pensioners. Those receiving a pension within 50 cents of the full rate were allowed only half of the increase and all others received no increase.

McMahon, Lib-CP

In October rates increased again on the same basis as in April,

with the difference that the half increase went to those receiving pension within $1.00 of the full rate.

1972 From April rates of pension increased and those who had received less than the full increases in 1971 were given increases to bring them into line with those who had received increases.

1973 From March the age limit of 21 years for dependent full-time students was removed.

From July WPa paid to women of age pension age was made taxable.

Whitlam, ALP

From September the means test on the Pensioner Medical

Service was modified. Where annual means as assessed exceeded $1716 (plus an amount for each child) eligibility ceased.

1974 From October the vocational training scheme for widows was incorporated into the National Employment and Training system (NEAT).

From November women who were widowed while overseas

were given eligibility for WPa on their return to Australia provided they had continuously resided in Australia for at least 10 years at any time.

1975 From July the Pensioner Medical Service was superseded by eligibility for a range of medical services under Medibank.

From October WPa was not paid to a widow living with a man as

his wife though not legally married to him.

1976 From July WPa was subject to income tax. Fraser, Lib-NCP

From October the means test was replaced by an income test

which took no account of the value of property holdings. Income from property was still taken into account. Provisions were introduced to deem income where a pensioner had deprived themselves of income in order to increase the rate of pension

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

payable or to qualify for a pension.

From November automatic six-monthly rate increases in May

and November, in line with movements in the CPI, were introduced for the basic pension rate.

1978 From October an upper age limit of 25 years was introduced for determining whether a full-time student could be a dependant for the purposes of WPa.

From November automatic rate increases were made annually in

November.

1980 From May automatic rate increases were once again made six-monthly in May and November.

1983 From November fringe benefit income limits were made subject to automatic indexation in line with movements in the CPI. Hawke, ALP

1985 From March an assets test was introduced which applied to all income-tested pensions. The assets or income test was applied, but not both. The test giving the lower pension level was applied. Certain assets were not considered under the test, principally the family home. The first $120 000 of a single pensioner's assets were exempt from consideration under the test. For those who owned their own home only $70 000 of assets were exempt. These exemption levels were subject to annual indexation in line with the CPI. Pension was reduced by $2.00 per week for every $1000 of assets in excess of the exemption levels.

1986 From December rate increases took place in December and June rather than November and May as had previously been the case.

1987 From January dual eligibility for pensions and for Commonwealth education payments was ended. Pensioners studying full-time were eligible for an educational supplement of $15 per week.

From July the separate income test for Rent Assistance (RA) was

abolished.

From September the maximum age of a qualifying child was

limited to 15 years of age.

From November an earnings credit system was introduced.

Pensioners could save up unused portions of the income test free area to a limit of $1000. When income exceeded the free area the credit was reduced until totally depleted. The normal income test then applied again.

1988 From January fringe benefit entitlement could be retained for three months after income exceeded the income test limit by no more than 25 per cent.

From June a separate maintenance income test was introduced.

Where maintenance in excess of $15 per week was received benefit was reduced by 50 cents for each dollar in excess of $15.

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

The free area of $15 per week was increased by $5 for each child after the first. This new income test was part of a broader reform package that also introduced the Child Support Scheme.

From July portability of WPa overseas was limited to 12 months,

except for de jure widows who were Australian residents.

1989 From March WPa and Supporting Parent's Benefit (SPB) were combined and renamed Sole Parent Pension (SPP). Basic entitlements and conditions did not change significantly. Eligibility was however extended to people with substantial control and care of a qualifying child, although not having legal custody, where that care and control had existed for at least 12 months before grant of pension.

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation:

Widows Pensions Act 1942 (No 19 of 1942)

1942 From June, as part of a broader scheme of Widow Pensions, Widow Pension Class A (WPa) was paid to widows with at least one dependent child aged under 16 years. The term 'widow' included de facto widows who had been living with the deceased spouse for at least three years prior to his death and had been maintained by him. Eligibility was also given to deserted de jure wives who had been deserted for at least six months, divorced women who had not remarried and women whose husbands were in hospitals for the insane.

Curtin, ALP

Claimants were required to be resident in Australia and to have

resided in Australia continuously for a period of five years immediately prior to their application. Aliens and the indigenous people of Australia, Africa, the Pacific and New Zealand were excluded from eligibility.

This exclusion did not apply to Aboriginal people who were exempt from state laws 'relating to the control of Aboriginal natives' or who lived in a state where such exemptions did not exist and who were eligible on the rounds of 'character, intelligence and development'.

A means test was applied to WPa. Property above the value of 1

000 pounds excluded a widow fro eligibility. Changes in the allowable property value since 1942 are set out in Table 7. Homes, furniture and personal effects were excluded from the calculation of this property value. The pension payable was also reduced by an amount equivalent to any income in excess of 32 pounds ten shillings per annum. Income included five per cent of

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

the value of any property owned (excluding those categories mentioned above) or the actual income received, whichever was the greater. Changes in this permissible income level since 1942 are set out in Table 8. WPa was paid four-weekly in arrears and the rate was subject to quarterly adjustment according to movements in the retail price index.

Widows were eligible for additional payments for their children.

See the chapter on Child Allowance and Additional Pension and Benefit for Children for details.

From July WPa was exempted from income tax.

1944 From April quarterly adjustment of rates was abolished.

1946 From August various insurance products and deceased estates not yet received were disregarded when calculating the property value.

Five per cent of the value of property or any actual income from property was no longer assessed under the income test.

Chifley, ALP

1947 From July WPa was paid fortnightly.

Any child maintenance income over 15 shillings per week was

made assessable as income.

New recipients of a War widow's Pension were no longer eligible

for WPa. Those already receiving both pensions were subject to transitional arrangements.

Discretion t continue payment for up to two years after the

youngest child turned 16 years of age, where that child was a full-time student dependent on the pensioner, was given to the Director-General of Social Services.

A component for children was added to the income allowed

before pension was reduced under the income test. Five shillings per week was allowed for the first child aged under 16 years and ten shillings per week for each additional child aged under 16 years.

1950 From August a Pensioner Medical Service scheme providing free general practitioner services and medicines was introduced. Menzies, Lib-CP

1951 From October the income disregard for second and subsequent children was reduced to five shillings per week.

1952 From September the residence requirement was reduced to one year where the couple were living permanently in Australia at the time of the death of the husband.

1955 From November participation in the Pensioner Medical Service was limited to those pensioners with weekly private income of two pounds or less.

1958 From October Supplementary Assistance of 10 shillings per week

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

29

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

became available to widows paying rent.

1960 From February most restrictions on the eligibility of Aboriginal people were removed.

1961 From March the merged means test was introduced. It combined the separate income and property-based means tests. A deemed income amount equivalent to one pound for every ten pounds worth of property above 1000 pounds was added to other income in applying the new test. However no property income was deemed where property was valued at less than 2250 pounds. The rate of pension was calculated by deducting from the maximum annual rate income in excess of 182 pounds per annum.

1963 From September a Mother's Allowance was introduced and paid to WPa recipients. This payment is examined in a separate chronology in this paper.

WPa was made payable until the end of the year in which the

youngest dependent student reached 18 years of age.

1964 From October telephone rental concessions, reducing annual rental costs by one third, were introduced for pensioners.

1965 From October WPa was made payable until the youngest dependent student reached 21 years of age.

1966 From January the separate means test applying to the Pensioner Medical Service was abolished. All pensioners were now eligible for benefits under the service.

From September any child maintenance income over three

pounds per week for each child was assessable as income. Holt, Lib-CP

The remaining provisions preventing Aboriginal people living a

nomadic lifestyle from receiving a pension were repealed.

Pensions became payable to aliens.

1968 From September the residency requirement for eligibility for WPa was removed where the widow and her husband had been permanent residents at the time of death.

Gorton, Lib-CP

A vocational training scheme for WPa recipients was introduced.

1969 From September the means test was modified to include a tapered reduction of the maximum rate. The rate of pension was now reduced by only half the income assessed in excess of the income test free amount. Eligibility for fringe benefits including the Pensioner Medical Service benefits was still determined under the means test without a taper.

Women widowed outside of Australia became eligible for

pension on returning to Australia if they had lived in Australia for 10 years continuously at any time.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

30

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

1971 In April rates of pension were increased, but the full increase was restricted to full-rate pensioners. Those receiving a pension within 50 cents of the full rate were allowed only half of the increase and all others received no increase.

McMahon, Lib-CP

In October rates increased again on the same basis as in April,

with the difference that the half increase went to those receiving pension within $1.00 of the full rate.

1972 From April rates of pension increased and those who had received less than the full increases in 1971 were given increases to bring them into line with those who had received increases.

1973 From March the age limit of 21 years for dependent full-time students was removed. Whitlam, ALP

From July WPa paid to women of age pension age was made

taxable.

From September the means test on the Pensioner Medical

Service was modified. Where annual means as assessed exceeded $1716 (plus an amount for each child) eligibility ceased.

1974 From October the vocational training scheme for widows was incorporated into the National Employment and Training system (NEAT).

From November women who were widowed while overseas

were given eligibility for WPa on their return to Australia provided they had continuously resided in Australia for at least 10 years at any time.

1975 From July the Pensioner Medical Service was superseded by eligibility for a range of medical services under Medibank.

From October WPa was not paid to a widow living with a man as

his wife though not legally married to him.

1976 From July WPa was subject to income tax. Fraser, Lib-NCP

From October the means test was replaced by an income test

which took no account of the value of property holdings. Income from property was still taken into account. Provisions were introduced to deem income where a pensioner had deprived themselves of income in order to increase the rate of pension payable or to qualify for a pension.

From November automatic six-monthly rate increases in May

and November, in line with movements in the CPI, were introduced for the basic pension rate.

1978 From October an upper age limit of 25 years was introduced for determining whether a full-time student could be a dependant for the purposes of WPa.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

31

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

From November automatic rate increases were made annually in

November.

1980 From May automatic rate increases were once again made six-monthly in May and November.

1983 From November fringe benefit income limits were made subject to automatic indexation in line with movements in the CPI. Hawke, ALP

1985 From March an assets test was introduced which applied to all income-tested pensions. The assets or income test was applied, but not both. The test giving the lower pension level was applied. Certain assets were not considered under the test, principally the family home. The first $120 000 of a single pensioner's assets were exempt from consideration under the test. For those who owned their own home only $70 000 of assets were exempt. These exemption levels were subject to annual indexation in line with the CPI. Pension was reduced by $2.00 per week for every $1000 of assets in excess of the exemption levels.

1986 From December rate increases took place in December and June rather than November and May as had previously been the case.

1987 From January dual eligibility for pensions and for Commonwealth education payments was ended. Pensioners studying full-time were eligible for an educational supplement of $15 per week.

From July the separate income test for Rent Assistance (RA) was

abolished.

From September the maximum age of a qualifying child was

limited to 15 years of age.

From November an earnings credit system was introduced.

Pensioners could save up unused portions of the income test free area to a limit of $1000. When income exceeded the free area the credit was reduced until totally depleted. The normal income test then applied again.

1988 From January fringe benefit entitlement could be retained for three months after income exceeded the income test limit by no more than 25 per cent.

From June a separate maintenance income test was introduced.

Where maintenance in excess of $15 per week was received benefit was reduced by 50 cents for each dollar in excess of $15. The free area of $15 per week was increased by $5 for each child after the first. This new income test was part of a broader reform package that also introduced the Child Support Scheme.

From July portability of WPa overseas was limited to 12 months,

except for de jure widows who were Australian residents.

1989 From March WPa and Supporting Parent's Benefit (SPB) were combined and renamed Sole Parent Pension (SPP). Basic

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

32

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

entitlements and conditions did not change significantly. Eligibility was however extended to people with substantial control and care of a qualifying child, although not having legal custody, where that care and control had existed for at least 12 months before grant of pension.

Child's Allowance/Additional Pension or Benefit for Children 1943 to 1993

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation:

Invalid and Old Age Pensions Act 1943 (No. 14 of 1943) for Child's Allowance

Unemployment and Sickness Benefits Act 1944 (No. 10 of 1944) for Additional Benefit

Social Services Act 1956 (No. 67 of 196) for Additional Pension

1943 From July Child's Allowance (CA) was introduced, payable at the rate of five shillings per week for a first or an unendowed child under 16 years dependent on an invalid or permanently-incapacitated old-age pensioner. (Strictly speaking, Class A Widow Pensioners were not eligible for CA; however, the rate of pension paid to a Class A widow had included an amount equivalent to CA since its introduction in 1942.) CA was not subject to the means test.

Curtin, ALP

1945 From July Additional Benefit for Children (AB) of five shillings per week became payable in respect of the first child to any person qualified to receive unemployment or sickness benefit having the custody, care and control of one or more children under the age of 16 years. (Other children were to be covered by the child endowment scheme.)

1947 From July

• Eligibility for CA was extended to a wife whose husband was in a benevolent asylum and to single invalid pensioners of either sex who had the custody, care and control of a child aged under 16 years.

• AB of five shillings per week for the first child became available to a beneficiary making regular contributions of not less than five shillings towards the maintenance of such a child (in addition to the person having the custody, care and control of the child).

Chifley, ALP

1953 From October eligibility for CA was extended to blind persons with a child under 16 who were receiving only the means-test free component of the pension.

Menzies, Lib-CP

1956 From October a supplement to the pension, known as Additional Pension for Children (AP), of 10 shillings per week was

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

33

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

introduced for each child under 16 years of age, after the first, of an invalid, a permanently-incapacitated age or a Class A Widow Pensioner. AP was subject to the means test; it was not taxable.

1962 From March AB became payable for the second and each additional child at the rate of 15 shillings per week.

1963 From October a specific allowance was introduced for the first child of a widow pensioner. The rate was 15 shillings per week and was not subject to the means test. This was an extension of CA which was already payable in respect of the first child of an invalid or permanently-incapacitated age pensioner.

From November eligibility for CA and AP was extended to include

a child over 16 years until the end of the calendar year in which she/he reached 18 years, if dependent on the pensioner and receiving full-time education.

1965 From October eligibility for CA and AP was extended to children of all age pensioners. Eligibility was also extended to include a full-time student until the date she/he reached 21 years of age.

1968 From September CA was abolished and AP substituted, thus placing payments for a pensioner's eldest, elder or only child on the same basis as payments for other children. AP paid for the first child of an invalid or blind age pensioner remained payable free of the means test.

Gorton, Lib-CP

1969 From September, where a beneficiary was claiming AB due to a regular contribution towards the maintenance of a child, the rate of the contribution was to be not less than $2.50 per week.

1971 From September/October AP/AB for a first child increased by $2.00 to $4.50; AP/AB for the second and each additional child increased by $1.00 to $4.50, thus making AP/AB payable at a uniform rate for each child.

McMahon, Lib-CP

1973 From March AP/AB for full-time dependent students of a pensioner or beneficiary became payable irrespective of the age of the student. The age limit of 21 years was removed.

Whitlam, ALP

From July eligibility for AP was extended to recipients of the

newly-introduced Supporting Mother's Benefit (SMB)

1974 From November AP was extended to a Class B widow pensioner with a child, not being a child of her ow or a child who entered her care before she became a widow, thus placing her in the same position as a Class A widow pensioner.

1976 From July AB became taxable. Fraser, Lib-NCP

1978 From October

• AP and AB for dependent students aged 25 years or more ceased to be payable.

• AP ceased to be payable unless a child was living in Australia

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

34

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

or temporarily abroad, was living overseas with a pensioner or was living overseas and the pensioner was living in Australia and intending to bring the child to Australia as soon as it was practical to do so (usually within four years).

1982 From November

• Where a pensioner or beneficiary had a child who was leaving school and seeking employment, AP and AB could continue to be paid until the child received unemployment benefit, obtained work or otherwise ceased to qualify.

• AP and AB ceased to be payable if a child became a

Supporting Parent's Benefit (SPB) recipient. A savings provision protected existing recipients of AP and AB.

1983 From March a rehabilitation allowance was introduced. Eligibility for AP was extended for children of rehabilitation allowees but AP and AB ceased to be payable for persons who were themselves receiving rehabilitation allowance.

Hawke, ALP

1984 From March AB was no longer taxable.

1986 From January the most recent $2 increase and all subsequent increases in AP and AB were withdrawn for students aged 16 years and over receiving Tertiary Education Allowance or Secondary Allowance.

1987 From January the lower rate of AP and AB became payable for a dependent student receiving payments under the Austudy Scheme, the Veterans' Children Education Scheme and the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme.

From October AP and AB became payable for children who were

overseas only if the child was an Australian resident or had been an Australian resident and was living overseas with the person entitled to receive AP/AB.

1988 From January AP and AB ceased to be payable for student children receiving AUSTUDY, or payments under the Veterans' Children Education Scheme, the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme, the Aboriginal Secondary Assistance Scheme or the Aboriginal Study Assistance Scheme.

1990 From January

• A lump-sum bereavement payment became payable on the death of a child for whom AP and AB was payable. The lump sum was equal to all payments that would otherwise have been paid for that child during the fourteen weeks after death.

• AP and AB rates were indexed in January of each year.

• Eligibility for AP and AB ceased on the sixteenth birthday of a student child, except where the child was not entitled to AUSTUDY or another prescribed education payment.

• A child under 16 years of age earning $100 per week or more

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

35

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

was not entitled to AP and AB.

1993 From January 1993 AP and AB were abolished. They were replaced by Family Allowance Supplement (FAS) paid to the principal carer.

Keating, ALP

Table 4: Maximum Rates of Child's Allowance 1943 to 1963, Additional Pension for Children 1956 to 1992, Additional Benefit for Children 1945 to 1992, Family Income Supplement 1983 to 1987, Family Allowance Supplement 1987 to 1992 and Additional Family Payment 1993 to 1995

Payable from

Child's

allowance

Additional pension Additional benefit

First child

Each other child First child

Each other child

($ per week)

07.43 0.0 - - - -

07.45 0.50 - - 0.50 -

06.49 0.90 - - 0.50 -

11.51 1.15 - - 0.50 -

10.56 1.15 - 1.00 0.50 -

10.57 1.50 - 1.00 1.00 -

09.61 1.50 - 1.00 1.25 -

03.62 1.50 - 1.00 1.50 1.50

10.63 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50

10.68(a) - 2.50 2.50 1.50 1.50

09.69 - 2.50 3.50 2.50 3.50

Under 13 years: each child 13 to 15 years: each child Each prescribed student

09.71(b) 4.50 4.50 4.50

09.73 5.00 5.00 5.00

11.74 5.50 5.50 5.50

05.75 7.00 7.00 7.00

11.75 7.50 7.50 7.50

11.80 10.00 10.00 10.00

05.83(c) 10.00 10.00 10.00

11.83 12.00 12.00 12.00

11.84 14.00 14.00 14.00

11.85 16.00 16.00 16.00

01.86 16.00 16.00 14.00

11.86 17.00 17.00 14.00

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

36

Under 13 years: each child 13 to 15 years: each child Each prescribed student

12.87(d) 22.00 28.00 17.00

12.88 24.00 31.00 17.00

07.89 24.00 34.10 17.00

01.90 24.15 35.25 17.00

01.91 26.50 38.65 17.00

01.92 27.40 39.95 17.00

04.92 30.40 42.95 17.00

01.93(e) 30.95 43.70 17.00

01.94 32.10 45.30 17.00

01.95 33.60 47.05 17.00

Notes: (a) Child's Allowance abolished. (b) Additional pension and additional benefit paid at same rate. (c) Family Income Supplement introduced. (d) Family Allowance Supplement introduced. (e) Additional Family Payment introduced.

Mother's/Guardian's Allowance 1963 to 2000

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation: Social Service Act 1963 No. 46 of 1963)

1963 From September Mother's Allowance of two pounds for Class A widow pensioners was introduced. Menzies, Lib-CP

1965 From October Guardian's Allowance of two ponds per week was introduced for widowers and other unmarried pensioners with one or more children under 16 years. he upper age limit for student children was set at 21 years, in line with child endowment. The allowance was subject to the pension means test.

1969 From September

• The Guardian's Allowance was increased to $6 per week where the recipient had a child under six years of age or an invalid child requiring full-time are.

• Mother's Allowance was also increased to $6 per week for a widow with a child under six years of age or an invalid child requiring full-time care.

Gorton, Lib-CP

1973 From March the age limit of 21 years was removed for payment of Guardian's Allowance. Whitlam, ALP

1974 From November eligibility for Mother's Allowance was extended to Class B widow pensioners with a child, ot being a child of her own or a child who entered her care before se became a widow,

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

37

thus placing them in the same position as Class A widow pensioners.

1983 From December payment of Mother's/Guardian's Allowance (MGA) was extended to a married pensioner who was left with the care of children where the spouse was admitted to a hospital or nursing home on a basis likely to be permanent.

Hawke, ALP

1984 From May

• MGA was increased to a uniform $8 per week for all recipients.

• Single unemployment and sickness beneficiaries with children became eligible for MGA.

1990 From January MGA became subject to yearly indexation in line with movements in the CPI for the preceding financial year.

1993 From January MGA was paid as an addition to Additional Family Payment (AFP) rather than as an addition to pension or benefit. Sole parents receiving AFP but not Sole Parent Pension (SPP) would be entitled to MGA.

Keating, ALP

1996 From September rate of MGA was increased by $4 per fortnight above the normal indexation rise. Howard, Lib-NP

2000 From July MGA was absorbed into the new Family Tax Benefit Part B (FTBB).

Table 5: Maximum Rate of Mother's/Guardian's Allowance, 1963 to 2000

Date of effect Rate ($ per week)

08.10.63 4.00

30.09.69 (a)4.00

06.11.80 (a)6.00

01.11.84 10.00

01.05.86 12.00

01.01.90 12.90

01.01.91 13.90

01.01.92 14.35

01.01.93 14.50

01.01.94 14.80

01.01.95 15.05

01.01.96 15.75

12.09.96 17.75

01.01.97 18.30

01.01.98 18.35

01.01.99 18.50

01.01.00 18.70

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

38

Note: (a) The rate was $2.00 higher for children under 6 years of age or invalid children.

Double Orphan's Pension from 1973

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation: Social Services Act (No 4) 197 (No. 103 of 1973)

1973 From October Double Orphan's Pension (DOP) was introduced at the rate of $10 per week for children under 16 years of age or full-time dependent students under 21 yars of age, where both parents were dead, or where one parent was dead and the whereabouts of the other parent was unknown. The benefit was paid as an addition to Child Endowment (CE). The benefit was not subject to an income test.

Whitlam, ALP

1975 From October DOP became payable in respect of a child whose sole surviving parent or adoptive parent had been gaoled for a period of 10 or more years or who was a mental hospital patient in need of treatment or care for an indefinite period.

1976 From June the upper age limit for defining dependent students was extended to 25 years. Fraser, Lib-NCP

1978 From October DOP was no longer paid for a person who was also in receipt of an invalid pension.

1979 From May DOP was paid on a monthly basis rather than weekly. The adjusted rate became $47.70 per month.

1981 From October eligibility for DOP was extended to refugee

children both of whose parents were not in Australia or whose whereabouts were unknown.

1982 From October DOP could continue to be paid where students

had left school and were seeking employment, up to the time they received unemployment benefits, or found work or otherwise ceased to qualify for the pension.

1990 From January DOP became subject to yearly indexation in line

with movements in the CPI for the preceding financial year. Hawke, ALP

1991 From August where a child died the person receiving DOP was

eligible for special assistance in the form of continued payment of DOP for four weeks.

1992 From January DOP was back-paid to the date of the child's birth if the claim was lodged within 13 weeks (previously 4 weeks) of the date of birth.

Keating, ALP

1993 From January eligibility fr DOP did not automatically give

eligibility for Basic Family Payment (BFP).

2000 From July 2000 the rate of DOP was increased by 4 per cent as

part of a compensation package for impact of the introduction of Howard, Lib-NP

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

39

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

a GST in July 2000.

Table 6: Maximum Rates of Double Orphan's Pension from 1973

Month of effect Double orphan's pension

($ per week)

10.73 10.00

11.74 11.00

05.79 40.70

10.80 55.70

10.86 60.00

. ($ per fortnight)

12.88 25.75

07.89 27.70

01.90 29.80

01.91 32.10

01.92 33.20

01.93 33.60

01.94 34.20

01.95 34.80

01.96 36.40

01.97 37.50

01.98 37.60

01.99 37.90

01.00 38.30

07.00 39.80

01.01 41.10

01.02 42.80

01.03 44.00

01.04 45.20

01.05 46.20

01.06 47.35

01.07 49.40

01.08 50.40

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

40

Supporting Mother's Benefit 1973 to 1977, Supporting Parent's Benefit 1977 to 1989, Sole Parent's Pension 1989 to 1998

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation:

Social Services Act (No 3) 1973 (No 48 of 1973)

1973 From July Supporting Mother's Benefit (SMB) was payable to unmarried mothers, deserted de facto wives, women whose de facto husbands were in prison and other separated wives not eligible for Widow Pension Class A (WPa). A beneficiary had to have the care, control and custody of at least one qualifying child. A biological child of the beneficiary or a child of whom she had the custody, care and control prior to the date on which she became a single mother, including an adopted child, was a qualifying child. However in the case of an unmarried mother, only a biological child could be a qualifying child.

Whitlam, ALP

SMB could be paid six months after the birth of a child or the

separation whichever was later. During the six-month waiting period income support for deserted wives was available from the State governments. The Commonwealth contributed to the funding of this support through the States Grants (Deserted Wives) Act 1968. Unmarried mothers could qualify for Special Benefit (SpB) paid by the Commonwealth.

Recipients were able to receive Mother's Allowance,

Supplementary Allowance and Additional Pension for Children.

Claimants had to be resident in Australia on the date of

application. Unmarried mothers had to have been resident in Australia at the time of the child's birth. Separated wives had to have been resident in Australia prior to separation from their de facto or de jure husband. In other cases five years of continuous residence immediately prior to claiming benefit was necessary to qualify.

'Reasonable action' to obtain maintenance from the father or

fathers of the children was required. What constituted reasonable action varied from case to case. Where the father's identity or whereabouts was unknown or maintenance action would cause serious matrimonial problems for the father no action was required.

SMB was paid at the same rate as Widow Pension (see Table 7

for rate changes). The means test applied SMB was the same as that for Widow Pension Class A (WPa). This was the tapered means test introduced in 1969. Annual income exceeding $1040 plus $312 for each child reduced benefit by fifty cents for each dollar of excess income. Where the beneficiary owned property valued at more than $4500 benefit was further reduced. $1 for

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

41

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

each $10 of property in excess of $1000 was added to the income from other sources when calculating benefit under the income test (see Table 8 for changes in means testing arrangements).

1974 From July women who became sole parents while living overseas, but who had continuously lived in Australia for not less than 10 years at some time were given eligibility for SMB.

1976 From July SMB became subject to income tax. Allowances remained tax free. Fraser, Lib-NCP

From November the SMB, but not the allowances which went

with it, was made subject to automatic six-monthly increases in line with movements in the CPI every May and November.

The means test was replaced by an income test. Property was no

longer considered in calculating the rate of benefit payable. Income from property was included.

The Director-General was given the capacity to deem income to

have been received by claimants or pensioners where they had deprived themselves of that income in order to obtain a pension or a higher rate of pension.

1977 From November SMB was replaced by Supporting Parent's Benefit (SPB). SPB was available to male sole parents including widowers, divorcees, separated husbands or de facto husbands and husbands or de facto husbands of prisoners or mental hospital patients.

1978 From October indexation of the rate of benefit was to occur annually in November. (The only annual indexation occurred in November 1979.)

An upper age limit of 25 years was introduced for dependent

full-time students to be regarded as qualifying children.

1979 From October SPB recipients were made eligible for fringe benefits and pensioner health benefits.

From November indexation of the rate of benefit was again to

occur twice yearly in May and November.

1980 From November the six-month qualifying period for SPB was removed.

1983 From December eligibility for SPB was extended to unmarried people who had obtained legal custody of a qualifying child. Hawke, ALP

Eligibility was also extended to married people with a qualifying

child where a spouse was living apart due to illness or infirmity.

1985 From March SPB became subject to the assets test.

1986 From October SPB recipients were required to attend an interview after three months on SPB.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

42

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

From December rate increases took place in December and June

rather than November and May as had previously been the case.

SPB recipients were required to submit a statement of

circumstances monthly for the first three months on SPB and every three months thereafter.

1987 From January dual eligibility for pensions and for Commonwealth education payments was ended. Pensioners studying full-time were eligible for an educational supplement of $15 per week.

From September the maximum age of a qualifying child was

limited to 15 years of age.

From November an earnings credit system was introduced.

Pensioners could save up unused portions of the income test free area to a limit of $1000. When income exceeded the free area the credit was reduced until totally depleted. The normal income test then applied again.

1988 From January fringe benefit entitlement could be retained for three months after income exceeded the income test limit by no more than 25 per cent.

From June a separate maintenance income test was introduced.

Where maintenance in excess of $15 per week was received benefit was reduced by 50 cents for each dollar in excess of $15. The free area of $15 per week was increased by $5 for each child after the first.

The Child Support Scheme was introduced.

From July portability of SPB overseas was limited to 12 months,

except for de jure widows who were Australian residents.

1989 From March SPB and WPa were combined and renamed Sole Parent Pension (SPP). Basic entitlements and conditions did not change significantly. Eligibility was however extended to people with substantial control and care of a qualifying child, although not having legal custody, where that care and control had existed for at least 12 months before grant of pension.

From November the timing of indexation of the rate of SPP was

brought forward in several stages to March and September. (This process was completed in September 1990.)

1990 From January factors for determining whether a marriage-like relationship existed were set out in the Act. They included financial, household, social, sexual and personal arrangements. Where a pensioner had shared a residence with a person of the opposite sex for at least eight weeks and they had a child living with them, owned the house together, had joint assets or liabilities or had been married or had lived together before, additional information was to be provided by the pensioner to

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

43

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

ascertain if a marriage-like relationship existed.

SPP recipients were required to provide their tax file number and

that of their spouse if they knew it or could obtain it.

From June SPP recipients who ceased to receive payment due to

employment were given a Health Care Card for six months.

1991 An employment entry payment was introduced for SPP recipients who took up employment with earnings above a certain threshold amount. The payment was set at $100.

From March a minimum interest rate was deemed to apply to

cash in hand and money in accounts under the income test. The first $2000 of cash or money in accounts was exempt from this provision. Only the actual interest earned was assessed on that first $2000.

1992 From January an education entry payment of $200 was introduced for SPP recipients who qualified for an education supplement under the AUSTUDY Scheme.

Keating, ALP

The AUSTUDY supplement of $60 per fortnight for SPP recipients

studying full-time was extended to those studying part-time.

From July telephone allowance of $51.80 per household per year

replaced the telephone rental voucher scheme.

1993 From April eligibility for fringe benefits was extended to all part rate pensioners.

From September the assets test withdrawal rate was reduced

from $104 per annum for every $1000 of assets to $78 per annum for every $1000 of assets.

1995 From January refugees were not required to live in Australia for a set period to qualify for the pension.

1996 From July a major reform of the income test treatment of financial assets was introduced. A system called 'Extended Deeming' was introduced. When assessing income under the income test, the total value of all financial assets was added together. A rate of return of 5 per cent was deemed to have been received on the first $30 000 worth of assets and a rate of 7 per cent was deemed for asset holdings above these levels. The first $2000 was exempt from extended deeming. These rates were set at levels considered to be easily achievable using safe investments. The Minister for Social Security could vary the deeming rates as market rates changed.

Howard, Lib-NP

1997 From March the income test exemption under the 'extended deeming' provisions for the first $2000 held by a recipient was removed.

From September the rate of all single pensions was maintained

at 25 per cent of male total average weekly earnings. Indexation

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

44

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

in line with the CPI still occurred in March and September of each year, but if the rate was still below the average weekly earnings benchmark it was raised to that level.

1998 From March SPP was merged with Parenting Allowance (PgA) to create Parenting Payment (PP).

Table 7: Maximum Weekly Rates of Pension for Sole Parents from 1942

Date of effect Widow Pension Class A

($ per week)

27.07.42 3.00

17.11.42 3.05

09.02.43 3.10

04.05.43 3.15

21.09.43 3.20

16.10.45 3.75

08.07.47 4.25

25.10.48 4.75

07.11.50 5.50

06.11.51 6.50

07.10.52 7.25

05.11.53 7.50

01.11.55 8.50

29.10.57 9.25

13.10.59 10.00

11.10.60 10.50

10.10.61 11.00

08.10.63 11.50

06.10.64 12.00

04.10.66 13.00

01.10.68 14.00

30.09.69 15.00

29.09.70 15.50

13.04.71 16.00

12.10.71 17.25

25.04.72 18.25

10.10.72 20.00

05.12.72 21.50

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

45

Date of effect Widow Pension Class A

Standard rate of Pension (a)

($ per week)

03.07.73 21.50

09.10.73 23.00

26.03.74 26.00

13.08.74 31.00

06.05.75 36.00

13.11.75 38.75

13.05.76 41.25

11.11.76 43.50

12.05.77 47.10

10.11.77 49.30

11.05.78 51.45

09.11.78 53.20

08.11.79 57.90

08.05.80 61.05

06.11.80 64.10

07.05.81 66.65

05.11.81 69.70

06.05.82 74.15

04.11.82 77.25

05.05.83 82.35

03.11.83 85.90

03.05.84 89.40

01.11.84 91.90

02.05.85 94.30

14.11.85 97.90

01.05.86 102.10

25.12.86 106.20

25.06.87 112.15

24.12.87 116.10

23.06.88 120.05

22.12.88 124.25

22.06.89 129.20

23.11.89 133.60

26.04.90 141.20

27.09.90 145.85

28.03.91 150.80

26.03.92 153.05

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

46

Date of effect Widow Pension Class A

28.01.93 156.05

19.09.93 158.10

20.03.94 159.05

20.09.94 160.70

20.03.95 163.05

20.03.96 167.95

20.09.96 171.30

20.03.97 173.90

20.03.98 177.30

20.09.98 178.65

20.03.99 180.70

20.09.99 183.25

20.03.00 186.00

01.07.00 193.45

20.09.00 197.05

20.03.01 201.00

20.09.01 205.25

20.03.02 210.90

20.09.02 214.70

20.03.03 220.15

20.09.03 226.40

20.03.04 232.10

20.09.04 235.35

20.03.05 238.15

20.09.05 244.45

20.03.06 249.85

20.09.06 256.05

20.03.07 262.55

20.09.07 268.85

20.03.08 273.40

20.09.08 281.05

Note: (a) Paid to all Widow Pensioners, Supporting Mothers Beneficiaries, Supporting Parents Beneficiaries, Sole Parent Pensioners and Parenting Payment (Single) Recipients.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

47

Table 8: Pension Means Tests Changes from 1942

Upper limit property (a) Exempt property (b)

Date of effect

Permissible income ($ pa) (b) WPa ($) Wpa ($) Wpa ($) WPb ($)

27.07.42 65 2000 800 100 100

13.08.46 104 2000 1300 100 100

08.07.47 104 2000 1300 100 100

26.10.48 156 2000 1500 200 200

06.11.51 (d)156 2500 2000 300 200

07.10.52 (e)156 2500 2000 300 200

05.11.53 (e)208 3000 2500 300 300

19.10.54 (e)364 3500 3500 400 400

28.10.58 (e)364 4500 4500 400 400

.

Means as

assessed ($ pa) (f)

Income

permitted for each child ($ pa)

14.03.61 364 52 . 2000 400

04.10.66 364 156 . 2000 400

02.05.67 520 156 . 2000 400

30.09.69 520 208 . 2000 400

10.10.72 1 040 312 . 2000 400

Allowable Assets (h)

Permissible

income ($ pa) (g) Homeowner

Non-

homeowner

25.11.76 1 040 312 . - -

04.11.82 1 560 312 . - -

21.03.85 1 560 312 . 70 000 120 000

01.05.86 1 560 312 . 75 750 129 750

25.06.87 1 560 312 . 83 250 143 250

09.07.87 2 080 624 . 83 250 143 250

23.06.88 2 080 624 . 89 250 153 250

22.06.89 2 080 624 . 96 000 164 500

21.06.90 2 080 624 . 103 500 177 500

01.07.91 2 184 624 . 110 750 190 250

01.07.92 2 236 624 . 112 500 193 000

01.07.93 2 288 624 . 112 750 193 250

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

48

Upper limit property (a) Exempt property (b)

Date of effect

Permissible income ($ pa) (b) WPa ($) Wpa ($) Wpa ($) WPb ($)

01.07.94 2 340 624 . 115 000 197 000

01.07.95 2 444 624 . 118 000 202 000

01.07.96 2 548 624 . 124 000 212 500

01.07.98 2 600 624 . 125 750 215 750

01.07.99 2 652 624 . 127 750 219 250

01.07.00 2 756 639.60 . 133 250 228 750

01.07.01 2 912 639.60 . 141 000 242 000

01.07.02 3 016 639.60 . 145 250 249 750

01.07.03 3 120 639.60 . 149 500 257 500

01.07.04 3 172 639.60 . 153 000 263 500

01.07.05 3 224 639.60 . 157 000 270 500

01.07.06 3 328 639.60 . 161 500 278 500

01.07.07 3 432 639.60 . 166 750 287 750

01.07.08 3 588 639.60 . 171 750 296 250

Notes: (a) Pension was not payable where property was above this level. (b) The amount of income or property allowed before the pension was reduced. (c) A further $26 was permitted for the first child and a further $52 for each subsequent child. (d) A further $26 was permitted for each child. (e) A further $52 was permitted for each child. (f) Merged Means Test introduced. (g) Income Test introduced. (h) Assets Test introduced.

Family Income Supplement 1983 to 1987, Family Allowance Supplement 1987 to 1992, Additional Family Payment 1993 to 1995

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation:

Social Security Legislation Amendment Act 1982 (No. 98 of 1982)

1983 From May, a new payment, known as Family Income Supplement (FIS), was introduced to assist low income families with children who were not in receipt of a social security pension or benefit or similar assistance. Assistance was provided according to the number of eligible dependent children in the family. The maximum rate of assistance per child equalled the rate of additional benefit payable to a beneficiary for a dependent child ($10 per week). The maximum rate was payable where the joint

Hawke, ALP

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

49

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

income of the parents did not exceed the income limit under the disadvantaged persons health care scheme for a married couple without children. Payments were reduced by $1 for every $2 beyond this level of joint parental income. Payments were not taxable.

1984 From May, FIS became payable to the Family Allowance (FA)

recipient rather than to the person in the family with the highest income.

1987 From December FIS was replaced by a new payment known as Family Allowance Supplement (FAS). The new payment was subject to a tapered income test (the limits were more generous than those applying for FIS), and a two-tiered level of payment was introduced.

Maximum rates of payment were paid where, for one child,

average weekly income in the four weeks prior to applying was up to $300. An additional $12 per week was disregarded for each additional child. The payment was withdrawn at the rate of 50 cents for each $1 of income in excess of the applicable limit. Like FIS, entitlement was for a six-month period and recipients were not required to notify the Department of Social Security of increases in income unless that income increased to more than 125 per cent of the allowable income or of their previous income. The new weekly rates were as follows: $22 for a child aged under 13 years, $28 for a child aged 13 to 15 years and $17 for a dependent full-time students aged 16 years or more not receiving AUSTUDY. Recipients of FAS were also eligible for Rent Assistance (RA) of up to $15 per week if they had children aged under 16 years.

1988 From December

• FAS became subject to a 'sudden-death' assets test. Recipients with assets in excess of $300 000 were no longer eligible for FAS, that is, There was no tapered reduction in entitlement. The threshold at which FAS began to be reduced became subject to annual indexation in line with movements in the CPI.

• The basis on which entitlement to FAS was calculated changed. Instead of basing entitlement on average income in the four weeks prior to applying as had previously been the case, entitlement was based on family taxable income in the financial year ended prior to application. The entitlement period was changed to a calendar year from the six-month period previously used. The same provisions for relatively small increases in income during the entitlement period continued to apply.

• FAS and FA were paid as a single fortnightly payment.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

50

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

1990 From January

• FAS became subject to yearly indexation moving in line with movements in the CPI over the previous financial year.

• FAS ceased to be payable for a child under 16 years of age who earned $100 per week or more.

• Lump-sum payments of FAS were made to the parent of a deceased child. The payment equalled FAS and FA for the fourteen weeks after the date of death.

• A student child ceased to be eligible for FAS when they turned 16 years of age if they were eligible to receive a prescribed education payment.

From November FAS recipients were automatically eligible for Health Care Cards.

1992 From January

• Hardship provisions applied to the assets test. Families with assets over the current limits, but under the FA assets test limit of $600 000 retained entitlement to FAS where their estimated taxable income for the current year was below the annual married pension rate, and their available funds were less than $6000 if single and $10 000 if married.

• The assets test included all immediate family member assets, not just those of the parents.

• FAS was back-paid to the date of the child's birth if the claim was lodged within 13 weeks (previously four weeks) of the date of birth.

• Health Care Card eligibility ceased to be automatic for FAS recipients. New claimants were required to meet the income test for low income earners seeking the Health Care Card.

From April the income threshold at which full rate FAS was paid increased in order to bring it into line with the relevant AUSTUDY threshold.

Keating, ALP

1993 From January FAS was renamed Additional Family Payment (AFP). Additional Pension for Children (AP) and Additional Benefit for Children (AB) were also replaced by the new payment which was paid to the principal carer rather than to the pensioner or beneficiary. AFP was not withdrawn during waiting, suspension or deferment periods as the previous payments attached to pension or benefit had been. The maintenance income test was applied to AFP, Guardian's Allowance (MGA) and Rent Assistance (RA), but not to pension or benefit. RA and MGA would be paid as an addition to AFP rather than as an addition to pension or benefit. Consequently sole parents receiving AFP but not Sole Parent Pension (SPP) would be entitled to MGA.

AFP was paid for children in secondary studies up to the

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

51

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

completion of those studies or the end of the year in which they turned 18 years of age, whichever was the earlier.

1994 From January certain employer-provided fringe benefits were treated as income under the income test. Income received from foreign sources was also taken into account under the income test.

1996 From January Basic Family Payment (BFP) and AFP were replaced by a single payment called Family Payment (FP).

Home Child Care Allowance 1994 to 1995, Parenting Allowance 1995 to 1998, Parenting Payment from 1998

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation:

Social Security (Home Child Care and Partner Allowances) Legislation Amendment Act 1993 (No. 55 of 1993) for Home Child Care Allowance; Social Security (Parenting Allowance And Other Measures) Legislation Amendment Act 1994 (No. 174 of 1994) for Parenting Allowance.

1994 From September the Home Child Care Allowance (HCCA) was

paid to members of couples with children who were primarily engaged in child care, in most cases mothers. HCCA replaced the dependent spouse rebate paid to couples with children through the taxation system.

Keating, ALP

HCCA was paid at the rate of $60 per fortnight to the caring

partner and was to be indexed annually. It was tax free but subject to an income test on the income of the caring partner. Income in excess of $282 per annum reduced the rate of HCCA by 25 cents for each dollar. Income of the non-caring partner did not affect the rate of payment. No assets test was applied. A recipient of HCCA needed to be an inhabitant of Australia.

A person could qualify for HCCA if their youngest dependent

child was under the age of 18 years or had not yet completed secondary school, whichever happened first.

1995 From July Parenting Allowance (PgA) was introduced. HCCA was merged with PgA. PgA was paid to people who cared for dependent children under the age of 16 years and were members of a couple. PgA replaced Partner Allowance (PA) for partners of Job Search Allowance (JSA)/Newstart Allowance (NSA) and Sickness Allowance (SA) recipients and was also be available to partners of low-income workers. The maximum rate of PgA was $272 per fortnight (the same rate as JSA/NSA).

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

52

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

PgA was taxable and was paid subject to the income test which

applied to JSA/NSA and SA from July 1995. A $60 per fortnight income test free area was available. Income above $60 per fortnight up to $140 per fortnight reduced payment by 50 cents for each dollar of income. Income above $140 per fortnight reduced payment by 70 cents for each dollar of income. Where the income of the partner of the PgA recipient reached a level where their DSS payment was reduced to nil any additional income they had began to reduce the payment received by the PgA partner.

HCCA became a tax free minimum payment of $61 per fortnight

which could be reduced only by income received by the PgA partner and not that of their spouse.

The rate of PgA was to be indexed twice a year in March and

September.

1997 From March a two year waiting period was introduced for newly arrived residents. Howard, Lib-NP

The income test exemption under the 'extended deeming'

provisions for the first $2000 ($4000 for a couple) held by a recipient was removed.

From September an income maintenance period was introduced.

Leave payments received were treated as income for the period for which they were paid. Payments for leave such as recreation leave, maternity leave, long service leave and sick leave were all included.

1998 From March PgA was merged with Sole Parent Pension (SPP) to form Parenting Payment (PP). The rates and eligibility conditions for the two payments were largely unchanged resulting in separate rate and eligibility structures for PP (single) and for PP (partnered). Significant changes were the following:

• The PgA assets test was extended to sole parents. This did not affect the asset thresholds that applied but removed the three dollars for every $1000 of assets taper which formerly applied to SPP.

• The income maintenance period introduced in September 1997 for PgA was applied to sole parents.

• Portability of the payment while temporarily overseas was standardised at 26 weeks. It had previously been 13 weeks for PgA and 12 months for SPP.

• Residence requirements for sole parents were reduced from five to two years to come into line with the two-year waiting period that applied to PgA.

1999 From September a 12-month waiting period for single foster

parents was removed.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

53

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

2000 From July the rate of PP was adjusted to compensate for the

effect of the introduction of a GST on the cost of living.

Further compensation was provided by a 2.5 per cent increase in

the income test and assets test free areas and a reduction in the income test taper rate for PP (single) from 50 per cent to 40 per cent.

2002 From September annual interviews were introduced for parents whose youngest child was aged 12 years or more to prepare for their re-entry to the workforce.

2003 From September annual interviews were introduced for parents whose youngest child was aged 6 years or more to prepare for their re-entry to the workforce.

Those whose youngest child was aged between 13 and 15 were

required to undertake 150 hours of activities each six months designed to help them to prepare for return to work. The activities were set out in a participation agreement. Exemptions from the participation requirements were given if a person was caring for a disabled child or going through certain critical events such as recent separation from a partner or domestic violence.

If reasonable steps were not taken by a person to comply with

the terms of their participation agreement, they could be subject to a rate reduction for a period of 26 weeks or suspension of their payment. Suspension of payment could only occur for the third breach in a two year period.

2006 From July eligibility for PP was changed in the following ways, as part of a major reform of welfare to work arrangements:

• single people claiming PPS after 1 July could receive PPS while their youngest child was aged less than 8 years. They would have participation requirements once that child turned 6 years of age

• partnered people claiming PPP after 1 July could receive PPP while their youngest child was aged less than 6 years

• people receiving PP before 1 July could continue to receive PP until their youngest child reached 16 years of age, provided they did not change their relationship status or have their payment cancelled. They would have participation requirements once their youngest child reached the age of 7 years but not before 1 July 2007

• the participation requirements could include a requirement to look for suitable work of at least 15 hours per week. Unsuitable work included work where appropriate child care could not be arranged. Failure to comply could result in payment suspension for a period of time, and

• participation exemptions were expanded to include exemptions for those foster carers and home or distance

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

54

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

educators.

The income test for PPP was altered so that income above $62

per fortnight reduced payment by 50 per cent, income above $250 per fortnight reduced payment by 60 per cent and partner income reduced payment by 60 per cent.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

55

Family Tax Payment 1997 to 2000

Commencement Date Details Government at

Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation: Family (Tax Initiative) Act 1996 (No. 63 of 1996)

1997 From January Family Tax Payment (FTP) was introduced. It was part of a broader Family Tax Initiative aimed at providing extra assistance to families with children. FTP provided that assistance to families who qualified for more than the minimum rate of Family Payment (FP). Other families with incomes below the cut off levels could access assistance as an increased income tax free threshold for one parent.

Howard, Lib-NP

Part A of the initiative provided $7.70 per fortnight for each child

in a family up to a family income of $70,000 plus $3000 for each child after the first.

Part B provided $19.24 per fortnight to families with one income

if a child under five years of age was present. A second income of up to $175.43 per fortnight did not preclude a family from receiving Part B. The income cut off for eligibility was $65,000 plus $3000 for each child after the first.

2000 From July the FTP was absorbed into the new Family Tax Benefit which also replaced Family Allowance (FA).

Family Tax Benefit Part B from 2000

Commencement Date Details Government at

Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999

A New Tax System (Family Assistance)(Administration) Act 1999

2000 From July Family Tax Benefit Part B (FTBB) was introduced. It's introduction was part of a broader reform of family payments that coincided with the introduction of, and compensated for the impact of, the GST in July 2000.

Howard, Lib-NP

FTBB replaced a number of existing payments and income tax

rebates for sole parents and single income couple families. They were Guardian Allowance, Basic Parenting Payment, Family Tax Payment Part B, Family Tax Assistance Part B, Sole Parent Rebate and Dependent Spouse Rebate (with Children).

The rate of payment for sole parents was $2602.45 pa ($99.82

pf) if the youngest child was aged under 5 years, or $1814.05 pa ($69.58 pf) if the youngest child was aged 5 years or more. There

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

56

Commencement Date Details Government at

Commencement

was no income or assets test for sole parents. The rate for couple families was the same as for sole parents, but an income test applied to the income of the second earner. A second income exceeding $1616 pa reduced entitlement by 30 cents for each extra dollar earned. Entitlement ceased at an income of $10 291 pa if the youngest child was under 5 years or $7663 pa if the youngest child was 5 years of age or over. The income measure used was current financial year taxable income adjusted to include fringe benefits, foreign income and net rental property losses. The total family income had no impact on entitlement. FTBB was indexed in line with movements in the CPI annually in July.

2004 From July a person could not receive FTBB if they had been outside of Australia for more than 13 weeks. Also a child was disregarded for FTBB purposes if they were outside of Australia for more than 13 weeks. Previously the time limit had been 26 weeks.

The income test free area for FTBB was increased from $1825

per annum to $4000 per annum.

The taper rate for the FTBB income test was reduced from 30%

to 20%.

2005 From January an annual supplement to FTBB was introduced. The first payment for the 2004-05 financial year was a half rate payment of $150. Subsequent payments were to be twice that amount plus an increase as a result of indexation to movements in the CPI. The supplement was paid at the time after the end of the financial year when entitlement was reconciled with actual income for that year.

From July the income test treatment of a person receiving FTBB

who started to work part way through a financial year was altered. They would only have their FTBB entitlement for the period after they started work reduced under the income test by their employment earnings for the rest of that financial year.

2008 From July FTBB was not payable where the primary earner in a sole parent or couple family had adjusted taxable income of $150 000 per annum or more. This threshold was indexed annually in July.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

57

Child Care Benefit from 2000

Commencement Date Details Government at

Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 A New Tax System (Family Assistance)(Administration) Act 1999

2000 From July Child Care Benefit (CCB) replaced Child Care Assistance and the Child Care Cash Rebate. These earlier forms of assistance had been administered by the Department of Family and Community Services since its formation in October 1998. The introduction of CCB was part of a broader reform of family payments that coincided with the introduction of, and compensated for the impact of, the GST in July 2000.

Howard, Lib-NP

CCB offered different levels of assistance depending upon

whether approved or registered child care was used. Approved care included long day care, family day care, before and after school care, vacation care, some occasional care and some in-home care. Registered care was that provided relatives, friends or nannies. It also included care provided by some private preschools, kindergartens and outside school hours care services. The carer had to be registered with the Family Assistance Office.

CCB could be paid for up to 50 hours per week if at any time

during the week the claimant was:

• working (including on paid or unpaid leave or setting up a business)

• actively looking for paid work

• doing volunteer work for 15 hours or more per week

• studying or training

• a person with a disability

• caring for a child or adult with a disability.

In other situations CCB could be paid for up to 20 hours per week of care.

CCB for approved care was payable up to $122 per week ($2.44

per hour) for one child in care, $255 per week ($2.55 per hour each) for two children and $398 per week ($2.65 per hour each) for three children. For registered care CCB of up to $20.50 per week or $0.41 per hour was payable for each child in care.

CCB for approved care was paid subject to an income test. The

Family Tax Benefit income test was used to measure income. Families with incomes under $28 200 per annum received the maximum rates. Rates of payment for those on higher incomes reduced gradually until a minimum rate was payable. For one

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

58

Commencement Date Details Government at

Commencement

child in care that rate was payable where family income exceeded $80 980 per annum. For two children in care it was $87 832 per annum and for three children it was $99 794 per annum. This cut off was increased by $16 665 for each additional child after the third. The minimum rate was the same as the rate for registered care.

Rates of payment for school age children were 85 per cent of

those for other children.

CCB could be paid to the child care provider who reduced their

fees (for approved care only) or claimed in arrears fortnightly or annually.

2006 From July a family that did not satisfy the work/training /study test could receive CCB for up to 24 hours of child care per week in an approved service.

The work/training/study test was also modified so that a person

had to perform the necessary activities for at least 15 hours per week.

2007 From July CCB standard and minimum rates were increased by 10% above the normal CPI indexation.

2008 From July the minimum rate of CCB for approved child care was abolished. Rudd, ALP

Child Care Tax Rebate from 2004

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation Tax Laws Amendment (2005 Measures No. 4) Act 2005

2004 From July out of pocket child care expenses could be claimed under the Child Care Tax Rebate (CCTR). The rebate could be claimed by families who received Child Care Benefit (CCB) for approved child care and met the work/study/training test for CCB. They could claim a rebate of 30% of their out of pocket child care expenses up to a limit of $4000 for each child. This limit was indexed to movements in the CPI.

Howard, Lib-NP

Being a tax rebate, the amount of CCTR paid was limited by the

tax liability of the family claiming, however any rebate that could not be used by the claimant could be transferred to their spouse.

Out of pocket child care costs were calculated once the CCB

entitlement of families was finalised several months after the end of the financial year in which the child care was used. This meant that the rebate could not be claimed until the financial

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

59

Commencement Date Details

Government at Commencement

year following that calculation. Consequently the rebate for child care used in a particular financial year could not be claimed until the end of the following financial year.

2007 From July CCTR was converted from a tax rebate into a direct payment under the Family Assistance Act 1999. Even though the name was not changed, it became an annual lump sum payment of 30% of out of pocket child care costs. The change from a tax rebate to a direct payment meant that entitlement was no longer limited by the tax liability of the claimant.

2008 From July CCTR was increased to a 50% refund of out of pocket child care costs.

The annual per child limit was increased to $7500.

Rudd, ALP

CCTR was paid quarterly where parents were registered for

fortnightly payment of CCB. If CCB was claimed annually for the previous financial year, CCTR was also claimed annually.

Eligibility for CCB was retained as a precondition for the receipt

of CCTR but those entitled to only a nil rate of CCB were still eligible for CCTR.

Social security payments for people caring for children, 1912 to 2008: a chronology

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