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Help for jobseekers to estimate impact of earnings: joint media release.



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THE HON PETER DUTTON MP

MINISTER FOR WORKFORCE PARTICIPATION

Joint Media Release

04105

Help For Jobseekers To Estimate Impact Of Earnings

A new tool to assist job seekers estimate the impact of extra income from work on their pension has been made available to Job Network Members, Disability Open Employment Services and CRS Australia, the Minister for Workforce Participation, Peter Dutton said today.

Speaking at the National Employment Services Association Practitioners Conference in Melbourne, the Minister said the Rate Estimator would help jobseekers on the Disability Support Pension or Parenting Payment Single see that even a small amount of part time work can significantly improve their overall financial wellbeing.

"From my conversations with jobseekers with disabilities and sole parents around the country, most people want to work and are looking for something which will help them understand what it will mean in broad dollar terms and whether they can retain the pensioner concession card.

"People often need this information early in their job seeking process to help them make decisions about which way to go. The Rate Estimator, which has been developed by Centrelink, will now be available to employment assistance providers to help them in their discussions with jobseekers.

Minister for Human Services, Joe Hockey, said that the Rate Estimator would also be made available on the Centrelink website later this year so customers could check the positive impact extra earnings would have on their take home income.

"Most people are not aware of the generous taper rates and tax treatment associated with pensions in this country.

"People on pensions can earn $122 per fortnight before their pension is affected in anyway. Income above $122 per fortnight reduces the pension by only 40 cents for every dollar earned and the Disability Support Pension is also tax free. If you earn around $10 000 per year, you can also receive close to the same amount in the pension and keep the pensioner concession card.

"I want jobseekers to know this - that part time work is definitely worth their while" Mr Dutton said.

"The provision of the Rate Estimator to Job Network Members, Disability Open Employment Services and CRS Australia is further evidence of the Government’s commitment to providing practical assistance to help people find work in keeping with their capacity and ability," Mr Dutton said.

For further information contact:

Brad Emery Minister Dutton 0414 225 638

Nadia Levin Minister Hockey 0437 978 028

3/05/2005