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

Division Ben Small Supporters vote Division outcome

18th Mar 2021, 2:54 PM – Senate Social Services Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Income Support) Bill 2021 - Second Reading - Unemployment pay

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The majority voted against an amendment to the usual second reading motion, which means it shall remain unchanged. The usual motion is "that the bill be read a second time," which is parliamentary jargon for agreeing with the main idea of the bill.

Amendment text

At the end of the motion, add: ", but the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) the effect of this Bill will be to cut unemployment payments by $100 per fortnight at the end of March, at the same time as JobKeeper is ending, and

(ii) over 1.3 million people are relying on unemployment payments – almost twice as many as before the pandemic; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) abandon its counterproductive and punitive plans for a dob-in-a-jobseeker hotline that will only make life harder for job seekers and employers by further increasing mutual obligation requirements at a time when unemployment and underemployment is high,

(ii) consider allowing people to keep more of their earnings from part-time, casual or seasonal work, to help people move into employment, and

(iii) do more to support Australians facing poverty and hardship – through adequate payments to those who need them, housing, addressing child poverty, and better health and education services".

No No Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly for" 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 0 0 0
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 10 10
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 10 10

*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 = 10 / 10 = 100%.

And then