How Richard Di Natale voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should limit the availability of government social security payments

Division Richard Di Natale Supporters vote Division outcome

3rd Dec 2018, 9:00 PM – Senate Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Promoting Sustainable Welfare) Bill 2018 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to pass the bill. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a third time. Since the bill was already passed in the House of Representatives, it will now become law.

What does this bill do?

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.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

3rd Dec 2018, 8:20 PM – Senate Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Promoting Sustainable Welfare) 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.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

12th Nov 2018, 4:54 PM – Senate Motions - Anti-Poverty Week - Against punitive approach to social policy

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The majority voted in favour of part of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert (WA), which means it succeeded. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but can be politically influential as they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Anti-Poverty Week was from 14 October to 20 October 2018,

(ii) in Australia, which is ranked as the second wealthiest county in the world, there are currently 3 million people in Australia living in poverty, including 739 000 children,

(iii) Australia has no poverty reduction plan, and despite economic growth, poverty levels have remained entrenched at a high level,

(iv) Newstart and Youth Allowance have not had an increase in real terms since 1994, and

(v) the poverty rate for sole parents rose from 35% in 2013 to 59% in 2015, and rates of poverty for sole parents remain high; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to abandon their punitive approach to social policy and the demonisation of those accessing the social safety net, and acknowledge that the current rate of Newstart is too low and is a barrier to people participating in the workforce.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

21st Jun 2017, 6:23 PM – Senate Documents - Social Security Act - Disability support pension and substance abuse

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Labor Senator Doug Cameron (NSW). The motion was to disallow the Social Security (Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for Disability Support Pension) Amendment Determination 2017. This means that that Determination no longer has any legal force.

What did this Determination do?

This Determination would have meant that, from 1 July 2017, people wouldn't be able to receive a disability support pension on the basis of substance abuse alone. Learn more in the Determination's explanatory statement.

Motion text

That the Social Security (Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for Disability Support Pension) Amendment Determination 2017, made under the Social Security Act 1991, be disallowed [F2017L00659].

Yes No Passed by a small majority

22nd Mar 2017, 12:04 AM – Senate Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted to pass the bill in the Senate. In parliamentary jargon they voted to read the bill for a third time.

The bill will now go to the House of Representatives, where our Members of Parliament (MPs) will decide if they also agree with the bill and want it to become law.

What is the bill?

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

1st Dec 2016, 4:10 PM – Senate Motions - Disability Support Pension - Support people with disability

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by West Australian Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it succeeded.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that people with disability face many barriers to finding and maintaining secure work and are poorly represented in the workforce;

(b) acknowledges that the report of the Australian Council of Social Service, Poverty in Australia 2016, reported 510,900 adults with a disability were living below the poverty line in 2013-14, not including people with disability with core activity limitation, and that, in 2014, 36.2 per cent of Disability Support Pension recipients were living below the poverty line; and

(c) calls on the Government to abandon its attacks on supports for people with disability, including moving people with disability off the Disability Support Pension and making access to the Mobility Allowance tougher.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

17th Nov 2014, 11:40 AM – Senate Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 6) Bill 2014 - Second Reading - Agree with the main idea of the bill

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

Main idea of the bill

The bill introduces the Social Services Portfolio budget measures that Labor has expressed support for (and so therefore have a chance of being passed).

What are the budget measures in this bill?

The bills digest describes the measures in detail. Most of the changes related to either ending indexation of certain allowances and supplements or limiting the overseas portability periods for certain payments and pensions.

Background to the bill

The measures in this bill 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 this one.

No Yes Passed by a modest majority

2nd Sep 2014, 2:17 PM – Senate Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2014 — Third Reading — Read a third time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a third time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the bill, as amended, is passed in the Senate. It will now be returned to the House of Representatives so that they can consider the Senate's amendments.

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013 (No. 2) being laid aside because it could not "be progressed in its current form".(Read more about this bill being set aside here. The division which resulted in that bill being laid aside is available here. )

This bill repeals the Minerals Resource Rent Tax as well as related measures such as the low income superannuation contribution, the income support bonus and the schoolkids bonus. The bill also revises the capital allowances for small business entities and the superannuation guarantee charge percentage increase.(Read more about the changes made in the bill in the explanatory memorandum. ) Under the previous Labor government, the superannuation was set to increase to 12 per cent by 2019 (as of 1 July 2014, it is at 9.5 per cent).(Read more about superannuation in Australia here.) However, this bill will push that rise up until 1 July 2025.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

2nd Sep 2014, 1:51 PM – Senate Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2014 — Reference to Committee — Adjustments to the changes made by the bill

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The majority voted in favour of government amendments, which means that they were successful. The amendments make the following changes. They:

  • "further adjust the proposed amended timetable for increasing the superannuation guarantee (SG) charge percentage to 12 per cent by pausing the SG rate at 9.5 per cent for financial years up to and including 2020-21. The SG charge percentage will then increase by half a percentage point each year, until it reaches 12 per cent for years starting on or after 1 July 2025;
  • change the repeal date for the low income superannuation contribution (LISC) so that it applies to concessional contributions made for the 2017-18 financial year and later financial years;
  • change the repeal date for the income support bonus (ISB) to 31 December 2016 and make minor technical and consequential amendments as a result of the delayed repeal; and
  • change the repeal date of the schoolkids bonus (SKB) to 31 December 2016, and apply an income test for payments of the bonus between Royal Assent of the Bill and the new repeal date."(Read more about these amendments here.)

Background to the bill

This bill was introduced following the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013 (No. 2) being laid aside because it could not "be progressed in its current form".(Read more about this bill being set aside here. The division which resulted in that bill being laid aside is available here. )

This bill repeals the Minerals Resource Rent Tax as well as related measures such as the low income superannuation contribution, the income support bonus and the schoolkids bonus. The bill also revises the capital allowances for small business entities and the superannuation guarantee charge percentage increase.(Read more about the changes made in the bill in the explanatory memorandum. ) Under the previous Labor government, the superannuation was set to increase to 12 per cent by 2019 (as of 1 July 2014, it is at 9.5 per cent).(Read more about superannuation in Australia here.) However, this bill will push that rise up until 1 July 2025.

No Yes Passed by a small majority

23rd Jun 2014, 12:46 PM – Senate Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Child Care Measures) Bill 2014 - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a second time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority agree with the main idea of the bill and that they can now consider it in more detail.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced primarily to amend the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 in order to:

  • maintain the indexation pause on the Child Care Rebate (CCR) limit at $7500 for three years from 1 July 2014; and
  • maintain the Child Care Benefit (CCB) income thresholds at the amounts applicable as at 30 June 2014 for three years from 1 July 2014.

Normally, the CCR limit and CCB income test thresholds are indexed on an annual basis to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). These measures constitute a freeze on the annual indexation of these amounts.(Read more about these measure in the bills digest. )

The Government announced this freeze on the indexation of the CCB income test threshold in the 2014–15 Budget. It is part of a broader measure that affects the indexation of income test thresholds for major welfare payments.(Read more about the background to the bill in the bills digest.)

No Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

5th Mar 2014, 12:47 PM – Senate Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 - Third Reading - Read a third time

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to read the bill for a third time.(Read more about the stages that a bill must pass through to become law here. ) This means that the majority agree with the bill and that it has now passed in the Senate. It will now be sent back to the House of Representatives for them to consider whether they agree with the amendments made in the Senate.

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to make a number of key changes. These include:

There are several other measures introduced by this bill that can be explored in its bills digest.

Most of the measures are savings measures that had been announced by the previous Labor Government in the 2013–14 Budget, the 2012–13 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) or the 2012–13 Budget. However, the gambling reform measures, the Cape York Welfare Reform measures and the changes to Paid Parental Leave arrangements(Read about the changes to Paid Parental Leave arrangements in the bills digest.) are newly proposed by the current Government.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a modest majority

How "voted very strongly 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 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 4 0 200
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 7 0 70
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 270

*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 = 0 / 270 = 0.0%.

And then