Member for Isaacs

Income Support Bonus delivered to over 9,000 people in Isaacs from today - Mark Dreyfus QC MP

From today more than $1.1 billion in extra income support payments will begin flowing to over one million Australians.

From today more than $1.1 billion in extra income support payments will begin flowing to over one million Australians.

Mr Dreyfus welcomed the news and said more than 9,000 people in Isaacs will benefit from the Income Support Bonus payments.

"The Income Support Bonus will help people receiving income support to cope with unexpected cost of living expenses-things like medical bills and urgent car repairs that are difficult to plan for."

"Despite the relentless and boring negativity of the Coalition, who have stood firmly against this extra support for people doing it tough, this Federal Labor Government has managed to deliver support to people who need it most," Mr Dreyfus said.

"This Labor Government recognises that people who rely on income support benefits as their main source of income can find it very tough to manage unexpected costs."

"I'm disappointed, but not surprised that Tony Abbott and the Liberals did not support this assistance for one million of Australia's low-paid individuals. But given Mr Abbott and the Liberals recent admission that they will impose a 15 per cent super tax on 3.6 million low income earners, I cannot say I am surprised.

Eligible Australians will begin receiving the Bonus after 20 March. Payments will be $210 extra per year for eligible singles, and $350 to most couples where both partners are eligible. The payments are tax-free and not means-tested. They will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index to keep pace with inflation and paid in instalments in March and September each year.

The bonus, part of the 2012-13 Budget, will be paid automatically by the Department of Human Services meaning that eligible recipients will not have to apply to receive it.

Allowances attracting the bonus include Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment, Sickness Allowance, Special Benefit, Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Austudy, Transitional Farm Family Relief Payment and Exceptional Circumstances Payment, as well as payments made under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme, and the Veterans' Children Education Scheme.

The Income Support Bonus bill that passed the Senate today includes amendments to the Social Security Act 1999, the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, the Farm Household Support Act 1992, and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.