Citizenship Discount To Be Scrapped

20:36' 12-06-2018
The discount for Australian citizenship fees for migrant pensioners, veterans and widows receiving Newstart, the aged pension, the disability support pension or parenting payments, is set to be scrapped.

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    Most people pay a $285 fee when they apply for citizenship, but a long-standing regulation grants disadvantaged pensioners and widows a concession rate of only $20 or $40. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton wants to remove that regulation from July 1.

    The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) has called for the decision to be reversed, calling the move “unnecessary and unfair”.

    As with a move in May to change parent visa sponsorship rules, scrapping the concession does not need legislation to pass the parliament, only an amendment to the Australian Citizenship Regulation.

    That move was defeated in the Senate after Greens Senator Nick McKim moved a disallowance motion. Senator McKim has said he would also move a disallowance motion against the scrapping of concessions.

    He described the government's proposed move as “incredibly small-minded and vindictive”, and questioned why the concessions should be abandoned, when only a small number of applicants (3%) applied for the discount.

    “Migrants and their families contribute hugely to the economic and cultural growth of this country,” FECCA chair Mary Patetsos said. “We don’t understand why these people are being singled out and hit with extra costs simply because they aspire to become Australian citizens.”

    Bun C




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Keywords: australian citizenship feespensionersveterans

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