How Meryl Swanson voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should limit the availability of government social security payments

Division Meryl Swanson Supporters vote Division outcome

28th Nov 2018, 11:39 AM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment (Encouraging Self-Sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants) Bill 2018 - Second Reading - Agree with bill's main idea

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to agree with the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time, which means they can now discuss it in more detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

The bill was originally called the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants) Bill 2018. According to the bills digest, the bill was introduced to extend the existing newly arrived resident’s waiting period (NARWP) for the following allowances from two to three years:

  • carer allowance;
  • bereavement allowance;
  • widow allowance;
  • parenting payment; and
  • farm household allowance.

It also introduces a NARWP for:

  • family tax benefit;
  • parental leave pay; and
  • dad and partner pay.

In other words, this bill will mean that newly arrived residents have to wait longer before they'll be eligible for these allowances.

Yes Yes (strong) Passed by a large majority

23rd Oct 2017, 12:28 PM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment (Better Targeting Student Payments) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Agree with bill's main idea

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The majority voted to agree with the bill's main idea. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time.

What is the bill's main idea?

According to the bills digest:

The purpose of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Better Targeting Student Payments) Bill 2017 (the Bill) is to amend the Social Security Act 1991 (SS Act) and the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VE Act) to:

  • limit eligibility for the relocation scholarship provided to some Youth Allowance recipients to those whose parental family home or usual place of residence is in Australia, and to those who relocate for study in Australia only. Students who relocate outside Australia to undertake part of their Australian course will no longer qualify for the relocation scholarship

  • introduce new payment rates for the Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) and the Education Entry Payment (EdEP) that correspond with different study loads undertaken by recipients and

  • no longer pay the PES during semester breaks and end-of-year holidays.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

29th Mar 2017, 6:01 PM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - Consideration in Detail - Agree to the bill

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The majority voted to agree with the bill. The House will now decide whether to pass the bill, which will be the final stage the bill must pass through and is known in parliamentary jargon as the third reading stage.

What does the bill do?

The purpose of this bill is to make savings for the government in the social services sector (social welfare etc).

According to the bill's homepage, it was introduced to:

  • pause for three years the indexation of various income thresholds that apply to certain social security benefits and allowances and the income test free area for parenting payment single
  • extend the ordinary waiting period to youth allowance (other) and parenting payment
  • include additional evidentiary requirements for the ‘severe financial hardship’ exemption from the ordinary waiting period
  • remove the ability for claimants to serve the ordinary waiting period concurrently with other waiting periods
  • enable automation of the regular income stream review process; and
  • maintain the standard family tax benefit (FTB) child rates for two years, from 1 July 2017, in the maximum and base rate of FTB Part A and the maximum rate of FTB Part B.
No Yes Passed by a small majority

29th Mar 2017, 5:42 PM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority voted to agree with the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon they voted to read the bill for a second time.

The House will now discuss the bill in more detail.

What is the bill's main idea?

The purpose of this bill is to make savings for the government in the social services sector (social welfare etc).

According to the bill's homepage, it was introduced to:

  • pause for three years the indexation of various income thresholds that apply to certain social security benefits and allowances and the income test free area for parenting payment single
  • extend the ordinary waiting period to youth allowance (other) and parenting payment
  • include additional evidentiary requirements for the ‘severe financial hardship’ exemption from the ordinary waiting period
  • remove the ability for claimants to serve the ordinary waiting period concurrently with other waiting periods
  • enable automation of the regular income stream review process; and
  • maintain the standard family tax benefit (FTB) child rates for two years, from 1 July 2017, in the maximum and base rate of FTB Part A and the maximum rate of FTB Part B.
No Yes Passed by a small majority

29th Mar 2017, 5:37 PM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Don't agree with bill's main idea

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Labor MP Jenny Macklin against the bill, which means it failed.

The motion effectively asked the House of Representatives to reject the bill's main idea. In parliamentary jargon, it asked the House to refuse to give the bill a second reading.

What is the bill's main idea?

The purpose of this bill is to make savings for the government in the social services sector (social welfare etc).

According to the bill's homepage, it was introduced to:

  • pause for three years the indexation of various income thresholds that apply to certain social security benefits and allowances and the income test free area for parenting payment single
  • extend the ordinary waiting period to youth allowance (other) and parenting payment
  • include additional evidentiary requirements for the ‘severe financial hardship’ exemption from the ordinary waiting period
  • remove the ability for claimants to serve the ordinary waiting period concurrently with other waiting periods
  • enable automation of the regular income stream review process; and
  • maintain the standard family tax benefit (FTB) child rates for two years, from 1 July 2017, in the maximum and base rate of FTB Part A and the maximum rate of FTB Part B.

Motion text

That all the words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"The House:

(1) declines to give the bill a second reading because it includes cuts to Family Tax Benefit that will leave 1.5 million families worse off, freezes income free areas for 264,500 recipients of income support and student payments, and forces young people and single parents to wait one week to access income support; and

(2) calls on the government to drop their unfair cuts to families and vulnerable Australians on very low incomes.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

1st Mar 2017, 11:41 AM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of passing the bill in the House of Representatives. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a third time. The bill will now go to the Senate for their consideration. It won't become law unless the Senate agrees to vote to pass it.

What does the bill do?

The bill does a lot!

The main two focuses for the bill are to make savings for the Government (that is, to let them spend less money on social services) and to amend the current childcare arrangements. For example, the child care benefit and child care rebate will be cancelled and a new child care subsidy (CCS) will be introduced that will be subject to both income and activity tests.

The bill's homepage gives a brief introduction to just how wide the changes are that the bill is making:

The bill will -

  • increase the family tax benefit (FTB) Part A fortnightly rates by $20.02 for each FTB child in the family up to 19 years of age;
  • remove the entitlement to FTB Part B for single parent families who are not single parents aged 60 or more or grandparents or great-grandparents from the start of the calendar year their youngest child turns 17 years of age;
  • phase out the FTB Part A and Part B end-of-year supplements;
  • increase certain youth allowance and disability support pension fortnightly rates by approximately $19.37 for recipients under 18 years of age;
  • reduce from 26 to six weeks the period during which age pension and other payments with unlimited portability can be paid outside Australia at the means-tested rate;
  • pause for three years the indexation of various income thresholds that apply to certain social security benefits and allowances and the income test free area for parenting payment single;
  • extend and simplifies the ordinary waiting period for all working age payments;
  • extend youth allowance (other) to 22 to 24 year olds in lieu of newstart allowance and sickness allowance;
  • provide for a four-week waiting period for certain persons aged under 25 years applying for youth allowance (other) or special benefit and require these job seekers to complete certain pre-benefit activities;
  • cease the child care benefit (CCB) and child care rebate;
  • introduce a child care subsidy (CCS) which is subject to both an income and activity test;
  • introduce various rates of additional child care subsidy (ACCS) that are available in certain circumstances;
  • make amendments in relation to CCS and ACCS claims, reviews of decisions, provider approvals, and compliance obligations of approved providers of child care services;
  • abolish the pensioner education supplement;
  • abolish the education entry payment;
  • prevent new recipients of welfare payments or concession cards from being paid the energy supplement from 20 September 2017;
  • cease the payment of pension supplement after six weeks temporary absence overseas and immediately for permanent departures;
  • enable automation of the regular income stream review process;
  • trial a social security income test incentive aimed at increasing the number of job seekers who undertake specified seasonal horticultural work, such as fruit picking;
  • provide that parental leave pay under the Paid Parental Leave scheme will only be provided to parents who have no employer-provided paid primary carer leave, or whose employer-provided paid primary carer leave is for a period less than 20 weeks or is paid at a rate below the full-time national minimum wage; and
  • remove the requirement for employers to provide paid parental leave to eligible employees, unless an employer chooses to manage the payment to employees and the employees agree for the employer to pay them.

The Explanatory Memorandum gives a more detailed explanation of these changes.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

1st Mar 2017, 10:40 AM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority agreed with the main idea of the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time. The bill can now be discussed in more detail.

What's the bill's main idea?

The main idea of the bill is to make changes to Australia's social security system.

The main two focuses for the bill are to make savings for the Government (that is, to let them spend less money on social services) and to amend the current childcare arrangements. For example, if the bill's passed, the child care benefit and child care rebate will be cancelled and a new child care subsidy (CCS) will be introduced that will be subject to both income and activity tests.

The bill's homepage gives a brief introduction to just how wide the changes are that the bill is making:

If it's passed, the bill will -

  • increase the family tax benefit (FTB) Part A fortnightly rates by $20.02 for each FTB child in the family up to 19 years of age;
  • remove the entitlement to FTB Part B for single parent families who are not single parents aged 60 or more or grandparents or great-grandparents from the start of the calendar year their youngest child turns 17 years of age;
  • phase out the FTB Part A and Part B end-of-year supplements;
  • increase certain youth allowance and disability support pension fortnightly rates by approximately $19.37 for recipients under 18 years of age;
  • reduce from 26 to six weeks the period during which age pension and other payments with unlimited portability can be paid outside Australia at the means-tested rate;
  • pause for three years the indexation of various income thresholds that apply to certain social security benefits and allowances and the income test free area for parenting payment single;
  • extend and simplifies the ordinary waiting period for all working age payments;
  • extend youth allowance (other) to 22 to 24 year olds in lieu of newstart allowance and sickness allowance;
  • provide for a four-week waiting period for certain persons aged under 25 years applying for youth allowance (other) or special benefit and require these job seekers to complete certain pre-benefit activities;
  • cease the child care benefit (CCB) and child care rebate;
  • introduce a child care subsidy (CCS) which is subject to both an income and activity test;
  • introduce various rates of additional child care subsidy (ACCS) that are available in certain circumstances;
  • make amendments in relation to CCS and ACCS claims, reviews of decisions, provider approvals, and compliance obligations of approved providers of child care services;
  • abolish the pensioner education supplement;
  • abolish the education entry payment;
  • prevent new recipients of welfare payments or concession cards from being paid the energy supplement from 20 September 2017;
  • cease the payment of pension supplement after six weeks temporary absence overseas and immediately for permanent departures;
  • enable automation of the regular income stream review process;
  • trial a social security income test incentive aimed at increasing the number of job seekers who undertake specified seasonal horticultural work, such as fruit picking;
  • provide that parental leave pay under the Paid Parental Leave scheme will only be provided to parents who have no employer-provided paid primary carer leave, or whose employer-provided paid primary carer leave is for a period less than 20 weeks or is paid at a rate below the full-time national minimum wage; and
  • remove the requirement for employers to provide paid parental leave to eligible employees, unless an employer chooses to manage the payment to employees and the employees agree for the employer to pay them.

The Explanatory Memorandum gives a more detailed explanation of these changes.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

1st Mar 2017, 10:34 AM – Representatives Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Don't agree with bill's main idea

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Labor MP Jenny Macklin, which means it was unsuccessful.

The motion called for the House not to agree with the bill's main idea (which would have meant that the bill was rejected). In parliamentary jargon, the motion called for the House to not give the bill a second reading.

Motion text

That all the words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

The House:

(1) declines to give the bill a second reading because it will hurt pensioners, families, new mums and young Australians while holding child care assistance and the National Disability Insurance Scheme to ransom; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) drop their unfair cuts to pensioners, families, new mums and young Australians; and

(b) fix their child care changes so that vulnerable and disadvantaged children are not worse off and Indigenous and country services do not face closure.

What's the bill's main idea?

The main idea of the bill is to make changes to Australia's social security system.

The main two focuses for the bill are to make savings for the Government (that is, to let them spend less money on social services) and to amend the current childcare arrangements. For example, if the bill's passed, the child care benefit and child care rebate will be cancelled and a new child care subsidy (CCS) will be introduced that will be subject to both income and activity tests.

The bill's homepage gives a brief introduction to just how wide the changes are that the bill is making:

If it's passed, the bill will -

  • increase the family tax benefit (FTB) Part A fortnightly rates by $20.02 for each FTB child in the family up to 19 years of age;
  • remove the entitlement to FTB Part B for single parent families who are not single parents aged 60 or more or grandparents or great-grandparents from the start of the calendar year their youngest child turns 17 years of age;
  • phase out the FTB Part A and Part B end-of-year supplements;
  • increase certain youth allowance and disability support pension fortnightly rates by approximately $19.37 for recipients under 18 years of age;
  • reduce from 26 to six weeks the period during which age pension and other payments with unlimited portability can be paid outside Australia at the means-tested rate;
  • pause for three years the indexation of various income thresholds that apply to certain social security benefits and allowances and the income test free area for parenting payment single;
  • extend and simplifies the ordinary waiting period for all working age payments;
  • extend youth allowance (other) to 22 to 24 year olds in lieu of newstart allowance and sickness allowance;
  • provide for a four-week waiting period for certain persons aged under 25 years applying for youth allowance (other) or special benefit and require these job seekers to complete certain pre-benefit activities;
  • cease the child care benefit (CCB) and child care rebate;
  • introduce a child care subsidy (CCS) which is subject to both an income and activity test;
  • introduce various rates of additional child care subsidy (ACCS) that are available in certain circumstances;
  • make amendments in relation to CCS and ACCS claims, reviews of decisions, provider approvals, and compliance obligations of approved providers of child care services;
  • abolish the pensioner education supplement;
  • abolish the education entry payment;
  • prevent new recipients of welfare payments or concession cards from being paid the energy supplement from 20 September 2017;
  • cease the payment of pension supplement after six weeks temporary absence overseas and immediately for permanent departures;
  • enable automation of the regular income stream review process;
  • trial a social security income test incentive aimed at increasing the number of job seekers who undertake specified seasonal horticultural work, such as fruit picking;
  • provide that parental leave pay under the Paid Parental Leave scheme will only be provided to parents who have no employer-provided paid primary carer leave, or whose employer-provided paid primary carer leave is for a period less than 20 weeks or is paid at a rate below the full-time national minimum wage; and
  • remove the requirement for employers to provide paid parental leave to eligible employees, unless an employer chooses to manage the payment to employees and the employees agree for the employer to pay them.

The Explanatory Memorandum gives a more detailed explanation of these changes.

Yes No Not passed by a small majority

How "voted moderately against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 3 0 150
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 4 0 40
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 50 240

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 50 / 240 = 21%.

And then