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House of Representatives

Social Security and Veterans' Entitlements Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Matters) Bill 2000

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator the Honourable Jocelyn Newman)

Outline and financial impact statement

This Bill contains various amendments to the Social Security Act 1991, the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, the Social Security (Administration and International Agreements)(Consequential Amendments) Act 1999, the Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999 the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, the Taxation Administration Act 1953 , the Health Insurance Act 1973 , and the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 .

The Bill gives effect to a range of 1999 Budget and related matters namely: the simplification of international payments relating to portability; other measures relating to the requirement to claim a comparable foreign payment; simplification of the provisions relating to qualifying residence; the use of tax file numbers for data matching purposes with the objective of strengthening compliance with social security law; and provisions relevant to the 4% concession for social security payments associated with the introduction of the GST. In addition, the Bill contains some technical amendments to associated social security legislation.

Schedule 1 amends the Social Security Act 1991 for the following purposes:

·
to amend the international portability provisions (Part 1 - Beneficiaries leaving Australia), including:

-
standardisation of the portability rules;
-
consolidating working life residence rules;
-
phasing out of special needs pensions; and
-
extending to two years the short residence rule;

·
to amend the pension bonus provisions (Part 2)
·
to amend the provisions relating to retirement assistance for farmers (Part 3)
·
to amend the provision relating to the requirement to claim a comparable foreign payment, by extending that requirement to persons from all countries (Part 4 - Claiming unclaimed overseas entitlements)
·
to simplify the provisions relating to qualifying residence (Part 5).

Schedule 2 amends the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 for the following purposes:

·
the use of tax file numbers for data matching purposes with the objective of strengthening compliance with the social security law (Part 1)
·
measures relating to the requirement to claim a comparable foreign payment (Part 2);
·
consequential amendments relating to the international portability provisions (Part 3).

Schedule 3 amends Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 to align the provisions relating to international portability with those in the Social Security Act 1991, insofar as those provisions relate to:

·
rent assistance;
·
telephone allowance;
·
pharmaceutical allowance; and
·
remote area allowance.

Schedule 4 and Schedule 5 amend the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953, respectively, to authorise the use of tax file numbers for data matching purposes with the objective of strengthening compliance with social security law.

Schedule 6 amends the Health Insurance Act 1973 to make a consequential amendment resulting from the amendments simplifying the qualifying residence provisions in the Social Security Act 1991 (Schedule 1, Part 5).

Schedule 7 amends the Social Security (Administration and International Agreements)(Consequential Amendments) Act 1999. These are technical amendments to correct two renumbering errors, caused by the confluence of the Further 1998 Budget Measures Legislation (Social Security) Act 1999 and the Social Security (Administration and International Agreements)(Consequential Amendments) Act 1999 which passed the Parliament in November 1999 and December 1999 respectively.

Schedule 8 amends the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 in relation to international portability, to provide for the consistent treatment of certain customers in relation to the international portability amendments made by Schedule 1, Part 1.

Schedule 9 amends the Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999 to make a technical amendment in relation to the international portability amendments.

Schedule 10 amends the Further 1998 Budget Measures Legislation (Social Security) Act 1999. These are technical amendments to correct renumbering errors caused by the confluence of the Further 1998 Budget Measures Legislation (Social Security) Act 1999 and the Social Security (Administration and International Agreements) (Consequential Amendments) Act 1999 which passed the Parliament in November 1999 and December 1999 respectively.


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