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senate vote 2020-02-26#14

Edited by mackay

on 2020-03-27 11:07:49

Title

  • Bills — Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Simplifying Income Reporting and Other Measures) Bill 2020; in Committee
  • Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Simplifying Income Reporting and Other Measures) Bill 2020 - in Committee - Review

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Wendy Askew</p>
  • <p>The committee is considering the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Simplifying Income Reporting and Other Measures Bill 2020. The question is that the bill stand as printed.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Patrick Dodson</p>
  • The majority voted in favour of an amendment introduced by WA Senator [Patrick Dodson](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/wa/patrick_dodson) (Labor), which means it passed and will now form part of the bill. If the Senate chooses to pass the bill, it will need to be sent back to the House of Representatives to see whether they agree with the amendments.
  • ### What does this amendment do?
  • [According to Mr Dodson](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/senate/?gid=2020-02-26.236.1):
  • > *This amendment proposes a review in 12 months and that the person who conducts the review must give the minister a written report of the review within six months of the commencement of the review.*
  • >
  • > *The changes in this bill will impact 150,000 people a fortnight, and it's critical that they work fairly and effectively. This amendment will require an independent review that consults experts and social security recipients.*
  • ### What does the bill do?
  • According to the [bills digest](https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1920a/20bd085), the bill was introduced in order to:
  • * *change the way employment income is assessed for the purposes of the social security income test so that rather than assessing income ‘earned, derived or received’ during the assessment period, the income test will assess employment income that is paid during the assessment period and*
  • * *allow for data collected by the Australian Tax Office, particularly employment income reported through the Single Touch Payroll (STP) system, to be shared with Services Australia for the purposes of administering social security, family assistance and student payments.*
  • ### Amendment text
  • > *(1) Page 2 (after line 14), after clause 3, insert:*
  • >
  • > *4 Review of operation of amendments*
  • >
  • > *(1) The Minister must cause an independent review to be conducted of the operation of the amendments made by this Act.*
  • >
  • > *(2) The review must start as soon as practicable after the end of 12 months after this Act commences.*
  • >
  • > *(3) The persons who conduct the review must give the Minister a written report of the review within 6 months of the commencement of the review.*
  • >
  • > *(4) The persons who conduct the review must consult:*
  • >
  • >> *(a) income support recipients impacted by the amendments made by this Act; and*
  • >>
  • >> *(b) persons who have expertise in social security law; and*
  • >>
  • >> *(c) persons who have expertise in any other area of public policy considered relevant by the persons who conduct the review.*
  • >
  • > *(5) The review must provide for public submissions as part of the review.*
  • >
  • > *(6) The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the report is given to the Minister.*
  • >
  • > *(7) In this section, Minister means the Minister administering the Social Security Act 1991.*
  • <p>I move opposition amendment (1) on sheet 8887 revised:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(1) Page 2 (after line 14), after clause 3, insert:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;4 Review of operation of amendments</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(1) The Minister must cause an independent review to be conducted of the operation of the amendments made by this Act.</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(2) The review must start as soon as practicable after the end of 12 months after this Act commences.</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(3) The persons who conduct the review must give the Minister a written report of the review within 6 months of the commencement of the review.</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(4) The persons who conduct the review must consult:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(a) income support recipients impacted by the amendments made by this Act; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(b) persons who have expertise in social security law; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(c) persons who have expertise in any other area of public policy considered relevant by the persons who conduct the review.</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(5) The review must provide for public submissions as part of the review.</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(6) The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the report is given to the Minister.</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(7) In this section, <i>Minister</i> means the Minister administering the <i>Social Security Act 1991</i>.</p>
  • <p>This amendment proposes a review in 12 months and that the person who conducts the review must give the minister a written report of the review within six months of the commencement of the review.</p>
  • <p>The changes in this bill will impact 150,000 people a fortnight, and it's critical that they work fairly and effectively. This amendment will require an independent review that consults experts and social security recipients. It has been requested by the stakeholders and it is a reasonable request. Indeed, government senators recommended a 12-month review of the bill in their report on this bill. The minister has indicated that the government will conduct such a review, and I say to her: why not back this amendment then?</p>
  • <p>It is understood that many of the rules around how these changes will operate on a detailed basis will be in the Guide to Social Security Law. Labor accepts that all the detail cannot and should not be in the legislation and that some flexibility in implementation is necessary. But the trade-off, the security that must be offered, is an ironclad guarantee or commitment to the independent review and, as I have said, to the review being handed to the minister within six months of its commissioning.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>Senator Dodson. I can give you an ironclad guarantee that, within 12 months of the commencement of the scheme, we will undertake a full review, that the review will be provided to the government in writing and that it will be tabled in this place.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Patrick Dodson</p>
  • <p>And the six months component, Minister?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>Within six months.</p>
  • <p class="italic">The CHAIR: The question is that (1) on sheet 8887 be agreed to. It is the amendment as moved by Senator Dodson.</p>
  • <p>Ordered that the committee have leave to sit again on the next day of sitting.</p>