I. Simplification package
Implementation will occur from 1 July 2000
These changes will simplify the means test provisions and the various rate calculators that determine the rates of payment to which social security customers are entitled.
There will also be some minor changes to improve the operation of the law in respect of the means test arrangements and rate calculators. These changes will:
- clarify the current treatment for income test purposes of earned income for pensions, parenting payment and gross rental income;
- provide an automatic exemption from the deeming rules for financial investments that are unrealisable;
- amend the means test treatment of income streams to ensure the conditions that income streams must meet to gain favourable means test status are unambiguous, as well as correct anomalies and unintended consequences; and
- for 'compensation arrears debts' that are treated as income, allow their recovery directly from compensation payers/insurers.
These measures represent the second stage of the Simplification Project, which will simplify Chapter 3 and related provisions of the Social Security Act 1991. The Government aims through these measures to achieve a simpler social security system which is fairer, easier to administer and more efficient.