Australian Government, 2011‑12 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

A Better Start for Children with Disability — Early intervention

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 1.5 36.5 34.8 31.8 16.0
Department of Health and Ageing 5.7 10.0 6.1 3.4
Department of Human Services 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1
Medicare Australia 0.2
Total 1.7 42.4 44.9 38.0 19.5

The Government will provide $146.5 million over five years to improve access to intensive early intervention services for children with sight or hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome, from 1 July 2011.

Eligible children under six years of age who are diagnosed with a listed disability will have access to up to $12,000 for early intervention services. A maximum of $6,000 would be available in any financial year. This funding is available until the child's seventh birthday. In addition, eligible children up to the age of 15 years will have access to diagnosis and treatment services funded through Medicare Australia, provided a treatment plan is in place before the child turns 13.

A $2,000 one‑off tax‑exempt payment will be also available to children of families living in outer‑regional, rural and remote areas to help meet some of the costs of accessing services.

This ongoing measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Allow Bereavement Allowance for Parenting Payment recipients

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ‑0.1 ‑0.1 ‑0.1 ‑0.2
Total 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1

The Government will provide $0.2 million over four years to allow Parenting Payment recipients to receive Bereavement Allowance for up to 14 weeks on the death of their partner. Bereavement Allowance provides temporary support to allow the person who has lost his or her partner time to seek alternative arrangements such as employment or other income support.

This change will require an amendment to the Social Security Act 1991 and will come into effect from 1 January 2012. This brings bereavement arrangements for Parenting Payment in line with other social support payments.

Australian Disability Enterprises Sector — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 9.8

The Government will provide $9.8 million in 2011‑12 to Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) to maintain the existing service level for people with a disability participating in supported employment. This measure provides funding for one year. Future funding arrangements for ADEs will be considered after an independent review of case based funding is completed in 2011.

Broadband for Seniors — continuation

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6

The Government will provide $10.4 million over four years for the ongoing maintenance of the 2,000 Broadband Kiosks for Seniors. This funding continues the Helping Seniors Make Ends Meet — Broadband for Seniors measure announced in the 2008‑09 Budget, which provides older Australians with free access to the internet and assists them to gain confidence to use computers through free training in their local communities.

Building Australia's Future Workforce — Audit of Disability Support Pension new claim assessments

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Department of Human Services
Total

The Government will strengthen the Disability Support Pension (DSP) assessment process by auditing a sample of DSP claims.

Health Professional Advice Units (HPAU) located in Centrelink offices help DSP assessors to make a fully informed assessment by providing specialist medical and rehabilitation advice. This measure will draw on the expertise of the HPAU to audit 1 per cent (some 1,612 claims) of recent DSP claim assessments over a 12 month period in 2012‑13. The audit will help identify any deficiencies or inconsistencies in the current process.

The cost of the measure will be met from within the existing resources of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Department of Human Services.

Building Australia's Future Workforce — Disability Support Pension — allow all recipients to work up to 30 hours a week

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 0.7 2.7
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs .. 4.0 1.4 ‑1.3
Total 0.8 6.7 1.4 ‑1.3

The Government will allow all Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients to work up to 30 hours a week and remain eligible for a part‑pension for up to two years.

This will allow recipients granted DSP under the 15 hour a week rule (that is, on or after 11 May 2005) to maximise their working hours without the suspension of their DSP entitlement. DSP recipients will still be subject to the application of the income test.

This measure removes a disincentive for DSP recipients to participate in the workforce and addresses the inconsistent treatment of people granted DSP before or after May 2005. This measure will cost $7.6 million over four years.

Building Australia's Future Workforce — Disability Support Pension — participation requirements

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 8.3 14.9 25.7 18.8
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 0.1 ‑0.2 ‑2.5 ‑2.8
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 13.0 13.4 4.0
Total 8.4 27.7 36.5 20.1

The Government will introduce participation requirements for new and existing Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients under the age of 35 with some work capacity from 1 July 2012.

Those recipients who are assessed as having a partial work capacity of eight or more hours per week, and are not working, will be required to attend Centrelink interviews in order to create a participation plan to engage in community interaction and, potentially, employment. Recipients may be referred to Disability Employment Service and Job Services Australia programs to increase their ability to build capacity and re‑engage in the community and workforce. Additional funding will be made available for an increased uptake of these services.

Interviews with Centrelink will be held on a quarterly basis for the first 18 months after recipients receive the payment and then twice a year. Participation interviews will continue while the recipient is under the age of 35 and maintains a partial work capacity. Those recipients who are already working, or subsequently find work, will not be required to attend the interviews.

Existing recipients under the age of 35 without an assessed work capacity level, whom Centrelink deem likely to benefit from participation interviews, will undergo a revised assessment to determine whether they have a partial work capacity of eight or more hours per week.

DSP recipients who have a work capacity of less than eight hours a week, or who are already participating in open employment, an Australian Disability Enterprise or the Supported Wage System, will be excluded from the participation requirements.

This measure is expected to cost $92.8 million over four years.

Building Australia's Future Workforce — implementation of more efficient and accurate assessments for Disability Support Pension

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 55.0 33.7 25.8 25.6
Department of Human Services 2.8 1.4 1.1 1.1
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ‑55.5 ‑53.3 ‑42.6 ‑44.6
Total 2.3 ‑18.3 ‑15.8 ‑17.9

The Government will bring forward the implementation of more efficient and accurate assessments for Disability Support Pension and employment services from 1 January 2012 to September 2011. This measure will provide savings of $49.7 million over four years.

From 3 September 2011, Disability Support Pension (DSP) claimants will need to provide evidence that they have tested their future work capacity by participating in training or work related activities. This activity test will not apply to claimants who are clearly unable to work due to, for example, profound disability.

The measure will improve assessments for DSP claimants who are currently required to undergo a Job Capacity Assessment to ensure that appropriate options for employment and income support are provided. Job Capacity Assessments will be refined to have a greater focus on a person's potential to work with appropriate capacity building and rehabilitation.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other measures in the Building Australia's Future Workforce package.

Building Australia's Future Workforce — supporting families with teenagers

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 276.1 722.8 899.0 921.3
Centrelink 1.0
Department of Veterans' Affairs ‑0.8 ‑1.6 ‑1.6 ‑1.5
Department of Human Services ‑3.4 ‑19.2 ‑24.9 ‑25.1
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ‑187.9 ‑502.6 ‑635.0 ‑650.8
Total 1.0 84.0 199.4 237.6 244.0
Related capital ($m)
Department of Human Services 5.5
Centrelink 0.4
Total 0.4 5.5

The Government will provide $771.9 million over five years (including $5.9 million in capital funding) to improve the adequacy of Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A for dependent 16 to 19 year olds in full time secondary study. This will simplify the assistance provided to families with children in this age group, removing the need to choose between Youth Allowance and FTB.

FTB and Youth Allowance will be changed to:

  • match the payment rates of FTB Part A for dependent 16 to 19 year olds in full time secondary study to the rates for 13 to 15 year olds. This will increase the level of support provided by FTB by up to $4,208 a year for 16 and 17 year olds, and up to $3,741 a year for 18 and 19 year olds;
  • align the participation requirement for FTB Part B and the Multiple Birth Allowance with the existing FTB Part A participation requirement. This change will require 16 to 19 year olds to be undertaking full time secondary study, or be exempt from this requirement, to be eligible for these payments; and
  • include all 16 to 19 year olds in full time secondary study for the purposes of calculating the Youth Allowance parental income test. This will ensure Youth Allowance recipients do not experience a lower rate of assistance as a result of siblings aged 16 to 19 years old in full time secondary study remaining in the FTB system.

Youth Allowance will continue to be available for 16 to 19 year olds who are independent, away from home or not in full time secondary study, and for people aged 19 years and older. All Youth Allowance recipients aged 16 to 19 on 1 January 2012 will have the option to remain on Youth Allowance.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Building Australia's Future Workforce — targeted locations income management and extension of the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 14.5 19.8 19.7 19.6
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 4.5 6.3 6.0 6.5
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 0.6 0.2
Total 19.5 26.3 25.7 26.2
Related capital ($m)
Department of Human Services 0.3

The Government will provide $117.5 million over five years (including $25.8 million in 2015‑16) to introduce, from 1 July 2012, Child Protection and Voluntary Income Management in five locations experiencing high levels of social disadvantage. The scheme will also introduce the Vulnerable Welfare Payment Recipient measure currently operating in the Northern Territory, and will offer the matched savings scheme, the voluntary income management incentive payment, and financial management support services to all eligible clients.

Income management will be targeted at high risk groups, such as very long term unemployed, people referred by a state or territory child protection authority, a Centrelink social worker, or a State Housing Authority (where they have debts or arrears greater than four weeks rent). The trial will be capped at 1000 people per site.

The Government will also provide $6.4 million over two years to continue the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM) in 12 trial locations across the Northern Territory and Queensland for a further 12 months until 30 June 2012.

SEAM places conditions on parents' income support payments to increase the level of school enrolment and attendance in identified communities where school attendance is low. If parents do not take reasonable steps to comply with the requirements, they risk having their income support payments suspended.

Cape York Welfare Reform Trial — extension

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 4.8 4.2
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 2.1 2.2
Department of Human Services 1.4 1.5
Centrelink
Total 8.4 7.8

The Government will provide $16.1 million over two years to extend the Cape York Welfare Reform trial in the communities of Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale and Mossman Gorge until 31 December 2012.

The trial, implemented in partnership with the Queensland Government, the Cape York Institute and regional organisations, will continue policy and leadership initiatives and activities focussed on education, restoring positive social norms and supporting community and individual engagement in the real economy. The trial extension will also include new activities to promote home ownership.

A final evaluation of the trial is expected in mid‑2012.

Child protection and voluntary income management in Western Australia — continuation

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 10.8
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 7.1
Total 17.9

The Government will provide $17.9 million in 2011‑12 to continue the income management trial in Western Australia until 30 June 2012. The trial commenced in November 2008.

This measure will continue the provision of Child Protection Income Management and Voluntary Income Management services to people in metropolitan Perth and the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. People are subject to income management if they are referred by the Western Australia Department of Child Protection or if they volunteer. People who are referred have 70 per cent of their welfare or income support payments managed. People who volunteer have 50 per cent of their welfare or income support payments managed.

Funding also includes $5.7 million in 2011‑12 to continue Commonwealth financial counselling and money management services, to support income management and help individuals build financial resilience over the longer term. Services include education, information, financial crisis/debt support, an approved money management course, and referrals to other support services. Services are available to income management clients and to the broader community, with priority given to vulnerable people.

Community Development Employment Projects program — continuation of grandfathered wage arrangements

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 67.3
Department of Human Services ‑2.2
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ‑58.7
Total 6.4

The Government will provide $68.8 million in 2011‑12 for the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program to continue grandfathering arrangements for CDEP wages until 30 June 2012, with CDEP wages to be progressively removed from 1 April 2012.

This measure will also enable Indigenous participants who were on CDEP wages at 30 June 2009 to re‑enter the program after absences of more than two weeks.

The continuation of grandfathered wage arrangements for a further nine months will support Indigenous people in remote communities with work and training opportunities. It will also provide stability to the program while consultations are held with stakeholders, including local communities, about the way employment services are delivered. CDEP wage participants will transfer progressively to income support from April 2012.

This measure will be partially offset through reduced costs:

  • $1.5 million from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in income support payments;
  • $58.7 million from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ($47.8 million in income support payments and $10.9 million in CDEP work experience wage subsidy payments); and
  • $2.2 million from Centrelink associated with the delay in transition of CDEP wage participants to income support.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 9 December 2010 issued by the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Minister for Human Services and the Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development.

Community Development Employment Projects program — eligibility for the Approved Program of Work Supplement

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 2.3 6.7 6.7 6.7
Department of Human Services 1.9 0.2 0.2 0.2
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs .. 0.1 0.1 0.1
Centrelink 0.1
Total 0.1 4.3 7.0 7.0 7.0

The Government will include the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program as an approved program of work for income support payments, at a cost of $25.5 million over five years. This measure will enable eligible job seekers receiving income support and participating in CDEP to receive the Approved Program of Work Supplement of $20.80 for each fortnight of activities.

CDEP participants who are recipients of the Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance (Other), a Parenting Payment (Single or Partnered) or the Disability Support Pension will be eligible for the Supplement which will be paid by Centrelink.

The Approved Program of Work Supplement assists job seekers with the cost of participating in approved work. This measure will provide a consistent approach for income support recipients participating in CDEP and other job seekers participating in approved activities such as Work for the Dole, Droughtforce and Green Corps. CDEP participants who have grandfathered status and receive CDEP wages will not be eligible for the Approved Program of Work Supplement but may be eligible for the CDEP Participant Supplement.

Disability Support Pension — portability changes

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 1.6 1.6 1.2 1.1
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 0.4 ‑1.4 ‑8.2 ‑15.5
Centrelink 0.2
Total 0.2 2.0 0.2 ‑6.9 ‑14.4

The Government will provide indefinite portability of the Disability Support Pension (DSP) from 1 July 2012, where a recipient has a severe and permanent disability and no future capacity to work. Indefinite portability will allow eligible DSP recipients to continue to receive payments while living overseas. DSP recipients who decide to stay overseas for longer than 13 weeks will no longer be entitled to add‑on payments such as the Pension Supplement or Rent Assistance. In addition, if the DSP recipient has a carer accompanying them overseas, Carer Payment and Carer Allowance will also cease at 13 weeks.

The measure also extends portability where a DSP recipient with a severe disability has a carer who is posted overseas for work and wishes to continue their supporting responsibilities. In these circumstances, the DSP recipient will be entitled to continue to receive their pension for the period of their family member's posting, from 1 July 2011.

This measure will result in a net save of $19.0 million over five years.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Emergency Relief and Commonwealth Financial Counselling — continuation

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 22.6 26.7 30.7 31.3

The Government will provide $111.3 million over four years for Emergency Relief and Commonwealth Financial Counselling services to support vulnerable individuals and families across Australia.

This includes additional funding for Emergency Relief which provides assistance to people in financial hardship by providing financial support to purchase necessities. Funding will also be provided for additional financial counsellors across Australia, and to community organisations to provide Foodbank services.

See also the related expense measure titled Natural disaster recovery and rebuilding — Emergency Relief and Commonwealth Financial Counselling in flood and cyclone affected areas in the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio.

Family Support Program — indexation changes

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 0.2 0.5 0.9 1.2

From 1 July 2011, the Family Relationship Services and the Children and Parenting Services components of the Family Support Program will be indexed by a wage cost index (WCI) consistent with Government indexation arrangements for all programs with substantial wage costs. This will replace the current arrangement whereby the Family Relationship Services component is indexed by a WCI more appropriate for programs with a significant goods and services cost.

This measure will also remove a historical efficiency dividend applied to the Services for Family with Children component.

This measure will cost $2.9 million over four years.

Family Tax Benefit Part A — more flexible advances

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 22.0 11.6 11.2 11.2
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Centrelink 3.5
Total 3.5 22.0 11.6 11.2 11.2
Related capital ($m)
Department of Human Services 1.3
Centrelink 1.6
Total 1.6 1.3

The Government will provide families in receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A with more flexible access to advance payment of their entitlements, allowing them to better meet unexpected expenses, at a cost of $62.4 million over five years (including $2.9 million in capital funding).

From 1 July 2011, families will be eligible for an advance of up to 7.5 per cent, up to a maximum of $1,000, of their annual Family Tax Benefit Part A entitlement. Advances will be repaid over six months by reducing future fortnightly Family Tax Benefit payments. Payment of advances will be subject to an assessment of a family's ability to repay the advance without falling into financial hardship. Advances can be taken at any point throughout the year.

Families will also be able to apply to receive an advance of the minimum amount of around $160 on a regular basis, paid every six months. Families who choose to receive a continuous advance will also be able to take one‑off advances to cope with unexpected expenditure requirements.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Financial Literacy and Micro‑Finance Projects — continuation

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 14.6 15.0 15.3 15.7

The Government will provide $60.6 million over four years to continue until 2014‑15 micro‑finance, financial literacy and money management projects funded under the Nation Building and Jobs Plan in the 2009‑10 Budget.

The Government will continue to support not‑for‑profit organisations including the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Good Shepherd to provide financial counselling and micro‑finance products such as StepUp Loans, No Interest Loans Scheme and Saver Plus products in areas of high needs. These products assist low income and vulnerable Australians to access mainstream financial services.

This measure also includes $6.2 million over four years to support financial literacy services for Indigenous people across Australia.

Gender Equality in the Workplace

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 2.6 2.3 2.3 2.4
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ‑0.8 ‑0.8 ‑0.8 ‑0.8
Total 1.8 1.5 1.6 1.5
Related capital ($m)
Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency 0.8 0.8

The Government will provide $11.2 million over four years (including $1.6 million of capital funding) to increase gender equity in the workplace by amending the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (the Act) and providing additional resources to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency to be renamed the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

The Act will be amended to explicitly refer to pay equity for both men and women and to require the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to publish information on progress towards gender pay equity. An online reporting framework for employers will be developed to enhance compliance with the reformed Act and assistance will be provided to help employers comply with the new requirements.

This measure will be partially offset by a redirection of funding from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs of $3.1 million from the Women's Leadership Development program. Funding of $13.6 million over four years will remain available in this program to support women's organisations to work with diverse groups of women in the community and assist them in engaging in current policy debates.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment to improve gender pay equity in the private sector.

Further information can be found in the press release of 9 March 2011 issued by the Minister for the Status of Women.

Healthy Start for School

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 3.5 1.2 1.2 1.4
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Centrelink 4.7
Medicare Australia 0.1
Total 4.8 3.5 1.2 1.2 1.4

The Government will provide $12.1 million over five years to introduce a requirement that children of parents on income support receive a health assessment before starting school. From 1 July 2011, the payment of the end of year Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement to parents on income support with a child turning four will be conditional on the child undergoing a pre‑school health assessment. Families will have up to two years after the end of the year their child turns four to meet the health check requirement and notify Centrelink before losing eligibility for the Family Tax Benefit Part A Supplement.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Helping Children with Autism — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 13.7 15.0

The Government will provide $28.7 million over two years to meet increased demand for early intervention services provided through the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) initiative.

The HCWA package provides access to early intervention services for children up to the age of seven years old who were diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by the age of six. Early intervention facilitates improved cognitive, emotional and social development prior to a child starting school.

The additional funding will ensure the continuity of service provision for children with autism at a time when evidence demonstrates that early intervention would have the most impact on their long term functioning and capacity to participate both economically and socially.

National Mental Health Reform — Expanding community mental health services — additional Family Mental Health Support services

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 2.3 8.9 13.3 18.0

The Government will provide $61.0 million over five years (including $18.5 million in 2015‑16) to provide an additional 40 Family Mental Health Support services.

These services provide prevention and early intervention support and assistance for families and children to address mental health issues early in life and early in the onset of mental illness. They have a particular focus on young carers and vulnerable children, including those who have been identified as being at risk of mental illness.

This measure is part of the Government's National Mental Health Reform package.

National Mental Health Reform — expanding community mental health services — additional personal helpers and mentors and respite services

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 7.3 29.6 51.9 59.4

The Government will provide $208.3 million over five years (including $60.2 million in 2015‑16) to expand and integrate Personal Helpers and Mentors and respite services.

This will provide greater access to intensive, one‑on‑one support for people with persistent and/or episodic mental illness to aid recovery and reduce social isolation, with a focus on employment and educational outcomes. It will also provide improved access to respite for their families and carers.

As part of this expansion, $50.0 million will be allocated to provide personal helpers and mentors to specifically help people with mental illness on, or in the process of claiming, income support including, the Disability Support Pension, and who are participating in employment services.

This measure is part of the Government's National Mental Health Reform package.

Natural Disaster Recovery and Rebuilding — Emergency Relief and Commonwealth Financial Counselling in flood and cyclone affected areas.

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 11.2 5.6

The Government will provide $16.8 million over two years for additional Emergency Relief and Commonwealth Financial Counselling services in areas of Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales that have been affected by the recent natural disasters. These are areas where Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements declarations are in place.

This measure is one of a range of actions taken by the Government to support individuals, businesses and local communities affected by natural disasters in 2010‑11 to recover and rebuild.

Further information can be found in the press release of 16 April 2011 issued by the Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services and the related expense measure titled Emergency Relief and Commonwealth Financial Counselling — continuation in the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio.

Paid Paternity Leave — implementation — new start date

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 0.7 ‑32.2 .. 1.1
Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman ‑0.2 ‑0.9 ‑0.8 ‑0.6
Total 0.5 ‑33.1 ‑0.8 0.5
Related revenue ($m)
Australian Taxation Office 0.4 0.1

The Government will defer the implementation of Paid Paternity Leave by six months from 1 July 2012 until 1 January 2013. The measure will provide eligible working fathers, and other partners who are providing full‑time care or sharing the child's care, with two weeks paternity leave paid at a rate equivalent to the national minimum wage for children born on or after 1 January 2013. The delay will provide savings of $33.3 million over four years.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Protective behaviours pilot program — school students

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 0.4

The Government will provide $0.4 million in 2011‑12 to expand the Protective Behaviours pilot program.

The pilot is based on All Children Being Safe which was developed by the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN). It is an early primary school program designed to increase students' awareness and skills about personal safety.

This measure aligns with the Australian Government's commitment to improving the wellbeing and safety of children under the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children.

Provisional Partner Visa Holders — Entitlement to Special Benefit

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 1.1 ‑0.9 ‑1.0 ‑1.1
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 0.7 1.4 1.5 1.6
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ‑1.6 ‑11.9 ‑13.8 ‑14.2
Total 0.2 ‑11.3 ‑13.4 ‑13.6

The Government will more closely align the rules for Special Benefit payment for Provisional Partner Visa holders with those for other newly arrived migrants.

From 1 January 2012, a Provisional Partner Visa holder will be required to wait two years or be able to demonstrate a substantial change in their circumstances after arrival in Australia and be in hardship, to be eligible for the payment of Special Benefit. This measure will also remove the requirement for an Assurance of Support to be provided for holders of this type of visa.

This measure will achieve savings of $38.2 million over four years.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Reform of Family Payments — Aligning Family Tax Benefit Part A eligibility with Youth Allowance age of independence

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 1.5 ‑0.1 ‑0.2 ‑0.2
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ‑0.9 ‑7.5 ‑10.2 ‑11.6
Total 0.6 ‑7.6 ‑10.4 ‑11.8

The Government will, from 1 January 2012, limit the eligibility for Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A to children up to the age of 21 years, recognising that young people aged 22 and over are considered independent. When a child turns 22 years of age, parents will no longer be able to receive FTB Part A for that child. However the child may be eligible to receive Youth Allowance subject to usual means testing and academic progress rules. This will bring FTB Part A in line with the Youth Allowance age of independence from 1 January 2012.

This measure will provide savings of $29.2 million over four years.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Reform of family payments — pause indexation of Family Tax Benefit supplements for three years

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 0.2 ‑0.1 ‑0.2 ‑0.5
Centrelink 0.2
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ‑77.0 ‑179.0 ‑267.9 ‑278.8
Total 0.2 ‑76.8 ‑179.1 ‑268.1 ‑279.3

The Government will pause indexation of the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A and B supplements for three years. The FTB supplements will be fixed at the current 2010‑11 levels of $726.35 per annum per child for FTB Part A and $354.05 per annum for FTB Part B until 1 July 2014.

The supplements would ordinarily be indexed by the Consumer Price Index. The measure is expected to result in net savings of $803.2 million over five years.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Reform of family payments — pause indexation of upper limits and thresholds for a further two years

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 0.1 ‑5.0 ‑14.5 ‑14.7
Department of Health and Ageing ‑0.4 ‑2.0 ‑3.5
Australian Taxation Office ‑20.0 ‑40.0 ‑45.0
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ‑205.5 ‑415.0 ‑425.8
Total 0.1 ‑230.9 ‑471.6 ‑489.0
Related revenue ($m)
Australian Taxation Office 0.5 3.5 6.5

The Government will pause indexation of family payment higher income thresholds and limits at their current level until 1 July 2014.

The following higher income thresholds and limits will remain fixed until 1 July 2014: Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part B primary earner income limit, which will remain at $150,000; the income limit for receiving the dependency tax offsets, which will remain at $150,000; the Baby Bonus eligibility limit, which will remain at $75,000 of family income in the six months following the birth or adoption of a child, equivalent to $150,000 a year; the Paid Parental Leave primary carer income limit, which will remain at $150,000 in the financial year before the birth or adoption of a child; and the higher income‑free threshold of FTB Part A, which will remain at $94,316 of family income, with an additional $3,796 provided for each child after the first.

Income limits are the amount a family can earn before they are no longer eligible for family payments, and the higher income‑free area for FTB Part A is the income level at which FTB payments begin to reduce. The FTB Part A income cut‑off for each family varies depending on the number and age of their children.

These thresholds and limits would ordinarily be indexed by the Consumer Price Index. The measure is expected to result in savings of $1,201.9 million over four years. The measure reforms family payments by better targeting family assistance to those families most in need of help with the cost of raising their children.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Social Security Agreement with Hungary

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 1.4 2.8 0.4 0.4
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 0.1 ‑0.4 ‑0.4 ‑0.4
Total 1.6 2.4 0.0 ‑0.1
Related revenue ($m)
Australian Taxation Office .. .. .. ..

The Government will provide $3.7 million over four years to implement the new Social Security Agreement with Hungary.

This agreement will commence on 1 July 2012 and will improve access to the Age Pension for people who have spent part of their working life in both Australia and Hungary. Australia and Hungary will share responsibility for the pension, each paying a portion of their pension based on relevant eligibility criteria and the period of residence that recipients have accrued in each country.

These arrangements also deal with 'double coverage' of social security or superannuation contributions where employees are seconded to work overseas. To avoid social security or superannuation contributions being paid by employers in both jurisdictions, the agreement clarifies that the obligation will only apply in the employee's home country.

Strengthening Compliance for Child Support

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Human Services 10.8 10.9 11.0 11.5
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ‑29.6 ‑30.4 ‑31.1 ‑31.9
Total ‑18.7 ‑19.4 ‑20.1 ‑20.4

The Government will change the method under which a Child Support payer's income is assessed to more accurately reflect their actual income. The changes will take effect from 1 July 2011 and will only apply to those payers who have not lodged a tax return for two or more years. This change will increase the average rate of Child Support payments, reducing Child Support recipients' Family Tax Benefit entitlements, which will result in savings of $78.7 million over four years.

Currently, Child Support payers who are late lodging or fail to lodge a tax return for two years or more have their Child Support assessment based on a default income of two thirds of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE), often resulting in an underestimation of their actual income. Under the new arrangements, such clients will have their income assessment based on their last known taxable income, indexed by growth in average wages during the period since their last return. The default income of two thirds of MTAWE will still be used in cases where the last known taxable income, indexed by growth in average wages, is lower than the default income.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Supporting Grandparent Carers — peer support groups

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3

The Government will provide $1.2 million over four years to establish 25 MyTime for Grandparents Peer Support Groups around the country for grandparent carers to meet, share information and experiences, and support each other. The Government will also establish dedicated grandparent advisors in selected Centrelink offices.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Youth Insearch Foundation — contribution

Expense ($m)
2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014‑15
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

The Government will provide $1.6 million over four years to the Youth Insearch Foundation.

Youth Insearch is a not‑for‑profit organisation which provides weekend and holiday programs for disadvantaged youth in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. These programs are designed to assist young people to tackle a variety of issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, physical, sexual and emotional abuse and family issues.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

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