Thursday, 2 October 2014
Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Seniors Supplement Cessation) Bill 2014; Second Reading
That this bill be now read a second time.
This bill will reintroduce one measure from the 2014 budget, which was originally introduced as schedule 1 to the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (2014 Budget Measures No. 1) Bill 2014.
The measure will, from 20 September 2014, cease payment of the seniors supplement for holders of the Commonwealth seniors health card or the Veterans' Affairs gold card.
The measure will help ensure that payments to senior Australians remain targeted to those who need them the most.
However, other benefits will continue to be available to cardholders, including discounts on medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, health safety net thresholds, and lower fees on medical services.
Recognising the government's commitment to abolish the carbon tax, while keeping in place the associated payment increases, this bill will rename the former clean energy supplement as the energy supplement, and maintain it at current levels by permanently removing indexation of the supplement.
The new energy supplement will be available to people who formerly received the clean energy supplement in association with their main income support payment, family payment or Veterans' Affairs payment, or through being a holder of the Commonwealth seniors health card or an eligible holder of the gold card. I commend the bill to the House.