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Part 2: Expense Measures (continued)

Social Services

Australian Disability Enterprises — wage supplementation

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services ‑19.3 ‑38.7 ‑3.2 41.2 20.0

The Government will provide greater flexibility to Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) as they transition to new wage arrangements for supported employees by amending the terms under which wage supplementation is paid to ADEs. The Government will allow the payment of wage supplementation to ADEs from the date of claim and the period over which ADEs may claim wage supplementation will be extended by three years from 31 December 2017 to 31 December 2020.

Funding of $140.3 million was provided for wage supplementation as part of the 2015‑16 Budget measure titled Australian Disability Enterprises — additional support.

Building Social Cohesion for Recently Arrived Migrants

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services 3.8 3.5 3.6

The Government will provide $10.9 million over three years from 2016‑17 to provide additional support to recently arrived humanitarian migrants to strengthen their sense of belonging to Australian society and to increase their social and economic participation.

Cashless Debit Card — third trial site

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services nfp nfp
Department of Human Services nfp nfp
Administrative Appeals Tribunal nfp
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet nfp
Total — Expense nfp nfp

The Government will expand the trial of the cashless debit card to a third location from 1 July 2016.

The Government is currently trialling the cashless debit card in Ceduna, South Australia and Kununurra/Wyndham in Western Australia. Recipients in the trial area who receive a working age payment will receive 80 per cent of their payment through the card and 20 per cent into their regular bank account. Recipients cannot use the card to purchase alcohol or gambling products or to withdraw cash.

The expenditure for this measure is not for publication (nfp) as negotiations with potential commercial providers are yet to be finalised.

This measure builds on the 2015‑16 Budget measure titled New Income Management Arrangements — trial and industry consultation.

Compulsory Rent Deduction Scheme — establishment

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Human Services nfp nfp nfp nfp nfp
Department of Human Services nfp nfp nfp nfp nfp

The Government will establish a Compulsory Rent Deduction (CRD) Scheme.

Under the Scheme, occupants of public and some community housing who receive income support payments or Family Tax Benefit will have their rent and related tenancy costs deducted from their payments and automatically transferred to the relevant public and state approved community housing providers.

The CRD Scheme will reduce the likelihood of individuals accumulating rental debt, leading to an expected reduction in evictions and improved social outcomes. It will also improve rental income streams for housing providers and so encourage investment in public housing stock.

The expenditure for this measure is not for publication (nfp) as the arrangement is subject to negotiation with the States and Territories.

Department of Human Services — administrative efficiencies

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Human Services ‑20.0 ‑20.0 ‑20.0 ‑20.0

The Government will achieve ongoing administrative efficiencies of $80.0 million over four years in the existing departmental funding of the Department of Human Services.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Disability Support Pension — amending portability rules for para‑athletes preparing for the Paralympic Games

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services 0.2 .. 0.2
Department of Human Services
Total — Expense 0.2 .. 0.2

The Government will provide $0.5 million over four years from 2016‑17 to amend portability rules in order to allow para‑athletes receiving the Disability Support Pension additional periods of up to four weeks of overseas travel without their payment being impacted. This will enable these athletes to attend approved international events leading up to the 2016 Paralympic Games.

This measure will apply retrospectively from September 2015 and will also apply to the 2018 winter Paralympic Games and the 2020 summer Paralympic Games.

Domestic and Family Violence — new initiatives to break the cycle of violence

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services 33.3 33.3 33.3
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet ‑10.0 ‑10.0 ‑12.2
Total — Expense 33.3 23.3 23.3 ‑12.2

The Government will provide $100.0 million over three years from 2016‑17 toward Commonwealth initiatives to break the cycle of violence against women and children. The Commonwealth initiatives will draw on the recommendations of the Third Action Plan 2016‑19 (the Plan) under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010‑2022, and build on existing Commonwealth initiatives under previous action plans.

The final report of the Council of Australian Governments' Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence Against Women and their Children, released on 1 April 2016, will inform the development of the Plan.

This measure builds on the $101.2 million that was provided through the 2015‑16 MYEFO measure titled Women's Safety Package.

Investment Approach to Welfare — Try, Test and Learn Fund

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services 31.0 31.0 23.9 7.3
Department of Social Services 0.7 0.5 0.9 0.9

The Government will provide $96.1 million over four years from 2016‑17 for a new Try, Test and Learn Fund to test the effectiveness of innovative policies aimed at reducing long‑term welfare dependency.

The Try, Test and Learn Fund will be used to apply and test the effectiveness of new approaches to assisting specific groups who are identified through the Australian Priority Investment Approach as having a high risk of long‑term welfare dependency.

These new approaches will be evaluated based on their effectiveness of supporting people into employment and so reducing long‑term welfare costs. Results of specific programs and policies under the Try, Test and Learn Fund will inform future decisions as to whether they should be continued, revised, scaled up, or discontinued.

Mobility Allowance — transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Human Services 2.5 0.2 0.1 0.9
Department of Social Services 0.7 3.4 13.1 19.2
Department of the Treasury 0.2
National Disability Insurance Agency
Total — Expense 3.4 3.6 13.3 20.1
National Disability Insurance Agency .. ‑1.0 ‑2.1 ‑2.9

The Government will provide $46.5 million over four years from 2016‑17 to provide continuity of support for recipients of the Mobility Allowance as the National Disability Insurance Scheme is rolled out and to revise the eligibility requirements.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Savings Fund

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of the Treasury 416.9 160.5 211.4 852.1 ‑3,826.5
Department of Human Services 2.9 29.7 29.9 29.5 6.7
Administrative Appeals Tribunal 0.6 0.8 0.9 0.3
Department of Employment 0.1 0.4 0.7 0.6
Department of Finance .. 0.1 ‑0.7
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources ‑0.1 ‑0.4 ‑0.7 ‑0.9
Department of Veterans' Affairs ‑0.2 ‑1.7 ‑3.4 ‑5.0
Department of Health ‑2.7 2.3 2.5 ‑59.6
Department of Social Services ‑60.4 ‑136.2 ‑348.9 ‑530.7 ‑711.6
National Disability Insurance Agency ‑15.2 ‑309.1 ‑457.8 ‑285.7 ‑68.5
Total — Expense 344.2 ‑257.4 ‑564.0 64.5 ‑4,664.5
Department of Finance .. 1.1 2.4 ‑20.2
Department of Health 416.2 0.6 5.4 ‑216.2 ‑435.1
National Disability Insurance Agency ‑96.2 ‑163.3 ‑761.3 ‑1,552.6
Total — Revenue 416.2 ‑94.5 ‑155.5 ‑997.7 ‑1,987.7
Department of Veterans' Affairs 0.4

The Government will establish the National Disability Insurance Scheme Savings Fund Special Account to assist in meeting the future costs of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In the 2016‑17 Budget, the Government will credit $2.1 billion to the fund, comprising:

  • funding of $711.2 million over five years, reflecting reduced net costs in NDIS transition agreements which have been signed with the states and territories; and
  • savings of a total $1.3 billion over five years which are the net proceeds of more efficiently targeting social welfare expenditure, after offsetting a range of new priorities in the Social Services Portfolio.

The following efficiencies will contribute to the NDIS Savings Fund:

  • $1.4 billion over five years by closing relevant unnecessary carbon tax compensation to new recipients of government welfare benefits.
  • $108.6 million over four years by aligning the backdating provisions for new Carer Allowance claims with other social security payments. From 1 January 2017, Carer Allowance will be payable to eligible applicants from the date of the claim, or the date they first contact the Department of Human Services. Savings for this component have already been provided for by the Government.
  • $62.1 million over five years by reviewing 30,000 Disability Support Pension recipients each year for three years by assessing their capacity to work.
  • $66.7 million by identifying funds not being spent in 2015‑16 and by not proceeding with the NDIS advertising campaign.

Further information on the NDIS Savings Fund Special Account can be found in the joint press release of 16 March 2016 issued by the Minister for Social Services and the Minister for Finance.

National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children — Third Action Plan 2015‑18

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services 1.8 1.5 1.4 0.4

The Government will provide $5.1 million over four years from 2016‑17 to fund two trials as part of the Third Action Plan under the National Framework for Protecting Australia's Children: Protecting Children is Everyone's Business, 2009‑2020.

Funding of $1.2 million will be provided over four years to build parenting skills in the first 1,000 days of a child's life through a trial which targets vulnerable children. In addition, $3.9 million will be provided over four years for an intensive case management trial to support young people in out‑of‑home care as they transition into adulthood and independent living.

Revised Social Security Agreement with New Zealand

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services nfp nfp nfp nfp

The Government is negotiating with the New Zealand Government to amend elements of the existing Social Security Agreement (the Agreement) between both countries to reflect changes that have occurred in the domestic law of both countries since the Agreement commenced in July 2002.

The funding for this measure is not for publication (nfp).

Simplifying Student Payments

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Human Services 0.1 2.2 ‑1.1 ‑0.9 ‑1.3
Department of Social Services 0.2 .. .. ..
Department of Health 0.3 0.5
Total — Expense 0.1 2.4 ‑1.1 ‑0.6 ‑0.8

The Government will simplify student payments, by:

  • automatically issuing Health Care Cards to recipients of student payments by removing the requirement for a separate application;
  • aligning means testing rules for student payments with other welfare payments; and
  • automatically updating the geographical classification which is used to assess eligibility for the Relocation Scholarship and for the independent rate of Youth Allowance.

This measure will reduce the administrative burden for welfare payment recipients and improve consistency across welfare payments and will not impact on the value of student payments.

Strengthening Communities Grants — redesign

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services

The Government will redesign the Strengthening Communities grants program to have a greater focus on building strong, resilient and cohesive communities and will rename them the Strong and Resilient Communities grants. The redesign will be undertaken within existing funding and will complement other Government policies to strengthen social cohesion.

Supporting the Financially Vulnerable — financial counselling for problem gamblers

Expense ($m)
2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19 2019‑20
Department of Social Services 7.1

The Government will provide an additional $7.1 million in 2016‑17 to continue the delivery of financial counselling for people affected by problem gambling.