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Wednesday, 4 May 1994
Page: 256

(Question No. 1100)

Senator Troeth asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 28 February 1994:

  What is the total number of farmers on social security benefits, and how many farmers and/or their spouses are receiving assistance under the different categories of social security allowances, such as JobSearch Allowance and household income support.

Senator Crowley —The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  Clients have been categorised as farmers where either the client or their spouse has identified themselves as having an occupation of farmer, self employed on the land, or have a real estate holding identified as a farm.

  In February 1994, there were 40 791 family units in which either the client or their spouse is so identified as a farmer and where at least one partner is in receipt of a Social Security payment. Column 1 in the following table shows the distribution of farming households by the type of social security benefit received by the household reference person. Where both partners in a household are on a Social Security payment, the reference person is the male.

Table: Farming Households by Payment Type of Reference Person

Number of farmer

Number of farming spouses on any payment

households in their own right

Payment Type Column 1 Column 2

Newstart Allowance 68 49

Sickness Allowance 13 10

Special Benefit 5 3

Job Search Allowance 251 142

Farm Household Support 379 99

Family Payment 23 743 0

Age Pension 12 918 7 553

Disability Support Pension 2 343 1 817

Sole Parent Pension 814 0

Widowed Person Allowance 12 0

Widow Pension (Class `B') 243 0

Rehabilitation Allowance 2 2

TOTAL 40 791 9 675

The spouses of the farmers separately receive a variety of payments. For example, of the 68 farmers receiving a Newstart Allowance, 49 have a spouse also on a Social Security payment. These payments are split as follows:

  Age Pension—37; Disability Support Pension—3; Family Payment only—8; Carer Pension—1

  This listing means that the two figures for each Social Security payment do not necessarily represent the total number of recipients of those particular payments. However, the totals of the two columns together give the aggregate figure, being 50 466, of farmers and their spouses receiving a Social Security payment in their own right.