The Bill – which passed the Parliament with the support of the Abbott Government and Palmer United Party – says additional legislation is required to cut the $217.50 Income Support Bonus to children of war veterans.
Page 70 of the Bill says the Department of Veterans Affairs will develop this additional legislation and the Abbott Government “will progress this separately”.
While Labor was successful in protecting these payments under the previous mining tax legislation – with two disallowance motions passed in the Senate – this legislation clearly states the Abbott Government will cut these payments.
Only around 1,200 children of veterans receive this modest yearly payment.
The cost of providing this assistance is only around $250,000 a year - less than 0.005 per cent of Tony Abbott’s universally-derided Paid Parental Leave Scheme for millionaires.
The Abbott Government and the Palmer United Party have left the children of war veterans out in the cold with no answers, no assurances and no protection.
The families of our veterans deserve respect and gratitude. Taking away their modest payments is incredibly insulting.
Tony Abbott should get his priorities right and guarantee the cuts to this assistance immediately.
This blow to the veteran community comes on top of the cuts announced in the 2014-15 budget including;
- Cutting veterans’ pensions by reducing the rate of indexation to CPI;
- Axing three months’ backdating of veterans’ disability pensions for new recipients, costing new recipients up to $8405; and
- Scraping the $870 seniors supplement for some veterans.
Further, the Abbott Government announced last week the cancellation of funding to the Australian War Memorial for its popular travelling exhibition program.
THURSDAY, 4 SEPTEMBER 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053
DEE CAKIR 0434 407 116 (FEENEY)
MRRT Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2014 – Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum
Repeal of income support bonus
2.63 The income support bonus (ISB) is an indexed, non-means tested payment that is paid twice annually to eligible social security recipients. The ISB was intended to provide additional support for eligible income support payment recipients to manage unanticipated expenses. It is exempt from income tax.
2.64 ISB instalment rates are $107.80 for single people or $89.90 for most people who are an eligible member of a couple. Eligible members of a couple separated by illness, or couples where a partner is in respite care or in goal, receive the single rate of $107.80.
2.65 To be eligible to receive the ISB, a person must be a recipient of Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Youth Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Special Benefit, Parenting Payment, Transitional Farm Family Payment, or Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payment. The ISB is also paid to eligible recipients under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme prepared under Part VII of the Veteran’s Entitlement Act 1986 and under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme established under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.
Abolishing the Income Support Bonus
3.133 Abolishing the Mining Tax Supplementary Allowance (Income Support Bonus) will require legislative amendment to the Social Security Act 1991, the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, the Farm Household Support Act 1992 and the Education and Training Scheme and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.
3.134 The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) also needs to amend legislative instruments that sit under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 and will progress this