The majority wanted to pass the bills in the House of Representatives (in parliamentary jargon, they voted to give the bills a third reading). The bills will now go to the Senate to see if the senators agree with the members of parliament (MPs) and also want to pass the bills. If they do, the bills will become law.
What do the bills do?
The bills introduce several of the Social Services Portfolio budget measures that the Government hasn't been able to pass yet.
The Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Seniors Supplement Cessation) Bill 2014 will get rid of the senior supplement for people who have a Commonwealth seniors health card or a veterans’ affairs gold card from 20 September 2014 (see the bills digest).
The Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Student Measures) Bill 2014 will allow interest rates to be applied to certain student assistance debts and create a new student start-up loan to replace current student start-up scholarships (see the bills digest).
For an overview of the measures included in the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 4) Bill 2014, see its bills digest.
Background to the bills
The measures in these bills were originally included in the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014 and the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014. These bills didn't get beyond the second reading stage in the Senate so the Government decided to split the measures into four bills (see ABC's The World Today), including these three.