Bill's Media Releases

Newstart Recipients to benefit from $1.1 billion Income Support Bonus

One million Australians will benefit from an income support bonus starting next year under a Bill introduced to Federal Parliament by Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten today.

 “The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Income Support Bonus) Bill 2012 will provide more than $1.1 billion in extra payments over the next four years,” said Mr Shorten.

 “The Income Support Bonus, part of the 2012-13 Budget, will help people who receive income support allowance payments to manage unexpected cost of living expenses.”

 “Unexpected household costs can crop up at any time – things like unforeseen medical expenses and car repairs. These supplements will help the people doing it the toughest who rarely have enough money at their disposal to manage these costs.”

 From March 2013, around one million people will receive the Income Support Bonus of $210 extra per year for eligible singles, and $350 to most couples where both partners are eligible. 

 Allowances attracting the bonus include Newstart, Parenting Payment, Sickness Allowance, Special Benefit, Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Austudy, Transitional Farm Family Relief Payment and Exceptional Circumstances Payment, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme, and the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme.

 The payment is not taxable or means-tested, and will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index to keep pace with inflation.

 Recipients will not have to apply to receive the Income Support Bonus as the payment will be made automatically by the Department of Human Services to those eligible in instalments in March and September of each year.

 “Many Australians are feeling the pressure on their household budgets and families receiving Government allowances are some of our most vulnerable citizens,” Mr Shorten said.

 “The Income Support Bonus offers assistance to disadvantaged Australians while being framed against a background of responsible financial management by this Government.”

 Mr Shorten also welcomed the tabling in Parliament today of a Senate committee’s report on the adequacy of the allowance payment system.

 The Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee began investigating the system in late June.

 “This is an important and complex issue. The Government will give careful and serious consideration to the findings of this important inquiry. I thank the Senators for their work and all the groups and individuals who provided their views,” Mr Shorten said.

 Mr Shorten’s Media Contact: Sam Casey — 0421 697 660