House of Representatives

Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 3) Bill 2021

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing, the Hon Michael Sukkar MP)

Chapter 6 - Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

Schedule 1 - Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge income thresholds

6.1 Schedule 1 to the Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Overview

6.2 This Schedule amends the Medicare Levy Act 1986 and the A New Tax System (Medicare Levy Surcharge - Fringe Benefits) Act 1999 to:

·
increase the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for individuals and families (along with the dependent child-student component of the family threshold) in line with movements in the CPI;
·
increase the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for individuals and families eligible for the SAPTO (along with the dependent child-student component of the family threshold), in line with movements in the CPI; and
·
increase the Medicare levy surcharge low-income threshold in line with movements in the CPI.

6.3 This will ensure that low-income individuals, families, seniors and pensioners who were exempt from the Medicare levy in the 2019-20 income year continue to be exempt in the 2020-21 income year if their income has increased in line with, or less than, movements in the CPI.

Human rights implications

6.4 This Schedule does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

Conclusion

6.5 This Schedule is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

Schedule 2 - Family Home Guarantee

6.6 Schedule 2 to the Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Overview

6.7 This Schedule amends the NHFIC Act to expand the objects of the Act to include NHFIC improving housing outcomes for Australians by assisting earlier access to the housing market by eligible single parents with dependants. The amendments to the objects will enable the Minister to issue directions to NHFIC through its Investment Mandate.

Human rights implications

6.8 This Schedule does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

6.9 This Schedule amends the NHFIC Act to promote home ownership in Australia without altering the existing objectives of the NHFIC Act. The NHFIC Act enhances the human right to an adequate standard of living. This right to an adequate standard of living includes the right to adequate food, clothing and housing, and the continuous improvement of living conditions as recognised in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

6.10 This Schedule, in promoting home ownership and the understanding of housing affordability in Australia, is compatible with the right to an adequate standard of living.

Conclusion

6.11 This Schedule is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

Schedule 3 - Payments to Thalidomide survivors

6.12 Schedule 3 to the Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Overview

6.13 This Schedule amends the ITAA 1997, the SS Act and the Veteran's Entitlements Act 1986 to provide that annual and lump sum payments made by the Commonwealth to Thalidomide survivors are exempt from income tax and do not count as income for the purposes of any income support payments.

Human rights implications

6.14 This Schedule engages the right of everyone to social security in Article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

6.15 The right to social security requires that a system be established under domestic law, and that public authorities must take responsibility for the effective administration of the system. The social security scheme must provide a minimum essential level of benefits to all individuals and families that will enable them to acquire at least essential health care, basic shelter and housing, water and sanitation, foodstuffs, and the most basic forms of education.

6.16 This amendment will operate beneficially as payments made by the Commonwealth to Thalidomide survivors will not be taken into account when assessing a person's payability or rate of social security or veteran's entitlements under both the social security and veteran's entitlement income test. If these payments were not exempted, a person in receipt of these payments may not be payable for a social security payment or, if they are payable, their rate of payment might be reduced. This Schedule is therefore consistent with the promotion of the right to social security.

Conclusion

6.17 This Schedule is compatible with human rights as it supports a person's right to social security.

Schedule 4 - Recovery grants for 2021 floods and storms

6.18 Schedule 4 to the Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Overview

6.19 This Schedule amends the ITAA 1997 to make disaster recovery grant payments in relation to the storms and floods that occurred in February and March 2021 non-assessable non-exempt income.

Human rights implications

6.20 This Schedule does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

Conclusion

6.21 This Schedule is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

Schedule 5 - Deductible gift recipients-new specific recipients

6.22 Schedule 5 to the Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Overview

6.23 This Schedule amends the ITAA 1997 to allow the following entities to be deductible gift recipients under the income tax law:

·
Alliance for Journalists' Freedom Ltd;
·
The Andy Thomas Space Foundation Limited;
·
Youthsafe;
·
RAS Foundation Limited;
·
The Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas; and
·
The Great Synagogue Foundation Trust.

6.24 This Schedule amends the ITAA 1997 to allow the following entities to be extended as deductible gift recipients under the income tax law:

·
The Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation Limited; and
·
Sydney Chevra Kadisha.

Human rights implications

6.25 This Schedule does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

Conclusion

6.26 This Schedule is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.


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