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Thursday, 2 October 2014
Page: 11083

Mr ANDREWS (MenziesMinister for Social Services) (09:22): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill will reintroduce several 2014 budget measures. The reintroduced measures will include further changes to Australian government payments.

One of these, applying from 1 July 2017, will pause indexation for three years of the income test free areas for all pensions (other than parenting payment single) and the deeming thresholds for all income support payments.

From 20 September 2017, the b ill will e nsure all pensions (other than parenting payment) are indexed to the consumer price i ndex onl y, by removing benchmarking to male total average weekly earnings and indexation to the pensioner and b en eficiary living cost i ndex.

Also from 20 September 2017, the social security and veterans' entitlements income test deeming thresholds will be reset to $30,000 for single income support recipients, $50,000 combined for pensioner couples, and $25,000 for a member of a couple other than a pensioner couple.

Lastly, the bill will increase the qualifying age for age pension, and the non-veteran pension age, to 70, increasing by six months every two years and starting on 1 July 2025.

These structural savings will ensure the long-term sustainability of Australia's social security system and the nation's budget.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.