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Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Page: 7684


Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (New South WalesAssistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (17:16): I move:

That these bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speeches read as follows—

SOCIAL SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (COST OF LIVING CONCESSION) BILL 2015

The beneficial new measure introduced by this bill is to exclude the Cost of Living Concession payment made by the South Australian government from being assessed under the social security and veterans' affairs income tests.

From September 2015, the South Australian government is introducing a new Cost of Living Concession payment, which will replace the South Australian Council Rates Concession (a discount on rates bills).

The new payment will be paid to certain eligible homeowners who previously benefited from the South Australian Council Rates Concession. In addition, the new payment will, for the first time, provide support to certain eligible low-income tenants. The new payment will be a direct annual payment of either $100 or $200 to eligible people (depending on their circumstances).

This bill exempts the new payment from being assessed as income for social security and veterans' entitlements purposes. This ensures people's social security and veterans' affairs income support payments are not affected by receipt of the new payment, and therefore that they receive the full benefit of the Cost of Living Concession payment.

 

SOCIAL SERVICES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (LOW INCOME SUPPLEMENT) BILL 2015

This bill reintroduces a 2015 budget measure previously introduced in the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015, which was negatived in the Senate on 9 September 2015.

The Low Income Supplement will be ceased from 1 July 2017.

This initiative is part of an important suite of measures to support the sustainability of the social security system and the nation's budget.

Debate adjourned.

Ordered that the bills be listed on the Notice Paper as separate orders of the day.