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House of Representatives

Family and Community Services (2000 Budget and Related Measures) Bill 2000

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Treasurer, the Hon Peter Costello, MP)

Outline and financial impact statement

This Bill gives effect to the following changes announced as part of the Governments 2000-2001 Budget.

Abstudy Scheme payments and the income test

With effect from 1 January 2001, Abstudy Scheme payments will be generally excluded from the income test. This will achieve equity in the treatment of ABSTUDY Scheme recipients and their partners (where applicable) with that of other income support recipients.

The estimated program costs of this measure are $0.3m in each year.

In-home child care

From 1 January 2001, the choice of child care services for which child care benefit may be available will be extended to include in-home care. This measure will enable families who fall outside mainstream services, eg families in rural and remote locations, sole parents working shifts/non-standard hours or families with sick children, greater access to child care services.

Amendments are made to enable the approval of in-home care services for the purposes of child care benefit, to enable the payment of child care benefit for care provided by an approved in-home care service at the rate and amount applicable to care provided by a family day care service and to align the treatment of approved in-home care services in other aspects with the treatment afforded to approved family day care services.

Estimated program costs of these measures are:

2000-01
$1.9m
2001-02
$7.2m
2002-03
$15.1m
2003-04
$24.3m

Youth allowance family assets test

From 1 January 2001, 75% (instead of the existing 50%) of the value of a persons interest in farm and business assets will be disregarded under the youth allowance family assets test.

Estimated program costs of this measure are:

2000-01
$16.8m
2001-02
$34.6m
2002-03
$35.5m
2003-04
$36.4m

Period for data-matching of income details

From 1 January 2001, the period for data-matching of income details between the Australian Tax Office and Centrelink will be extended from 2 to 4 years.

Estimated program savings from this measure are:

2000-01
$2.3m
2001-02
$4.8m
2002-03
$2.5m

Social Security Agreement with the United Kingdom

The terms of the Social Security Agreement between the United Kingdom and Australia will be preserved for migrants who became Australian residents on or before 1 March 2000.

Estimated program savings of this measure and the termination of the Social Security Agreement with the United Kingdom are:

2000-01
$1.3m
2001-02
$2.9m
2002-03
$4.1m
2003-04
$5.5m

The measures in this Bill impact on the following legislation:

·
Social Security Act 1991;
·
Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999;
·
A New Tax System (Family Assistance Act) 1999;
·
A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999;
·
Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986; and
·
Data-matching Program (Assistance and Tax) Act 1990 .


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