AN06 Amendments of Victoria Cross Allowance | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Advisory Notes, 2004

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AN06 Amendments of Victoria Cross Allowance

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Advisory from Veterans' Compensation Branch

No 6/2004

This is an advisory note only.  Veterans Compensation Branch and Legal Services Group have agreed this policy view.  It is not a Repatriation Commission Guideline or a Departmental Instruction.   The advice is not intended to conflict with the proper application of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 or the judgements of the Courts.  It may be subject to change as a result of further interpretation by the Courts of the legislation.  Nevertheless it represents a considered view that should be taken into account by all delegates.

Amendments of Victoria Cross Allowance and Decorations Allowance

Purpose

To advise state offices of changes to Victoria Cross Allowance and the Decoration Allowance as a result of Veterans' Affairs Amendment (Direct Deductions and Other Measures) Act 2004 (“the Amending Act”).

Legislative Amendments

Changes to the Victoria Cross Allowance

Eligibility
  • S103(1) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 has been amended to recognise the Victoria Cross for Australia as an eligible decoration for this allowance. The Victoria Cross for Australia decoration was created in 1991 and there are currently no recipients.

S103(1) now reads:

“Subject to this section, the Commission may grant an allowance, called Victoria Cross allowance, to a veteran who has been awarded the Victoria Cross or the Victoria Cross for Australia.”

Rate of Allowance

  • The Victoria Cross allowance has increased by 15% to $3,230 per annum and will be indexed annually in line with movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

S103(4) now reads:

“Victoria Cross allowance granted to a veteran under this section is payable at the rate of $3,230 per year.

Note: The amount fixed by this subsection is indexed annually in line with CPI increases. See section 198FA.”

  • A new section, S198FA, has been inserted into the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (see Attachment A). This section outlines the indexation of the Victoria Cross allowance and states that after 1 July 2005 the rate will be adjusted annually on 20 September each year.

Other Related Legislative Amendments
  • S103(5) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986, which refers to the award of a bar to the Victoria Cross, has been repealed because the provision is no longer necessary.  This change will not impact upon processing this allowance.

Date of Effect
  • The inclusion of the Victoria Cross of Australia took effect when the Amending Act received Royal Assent on 29 June 2004 and the increased allowance rate took effect from 1 July 2004.

Changes to the Decoration Allowance

Eligibility

  • The list of decorations eligible for a decoration allowance in subsection 102(5) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 has been expanded to include additional decorations.

S102(5) now reads

5)              In this section:

eligible decorations means:

(a)the following decorations awarded for gallantry during a war to which this Act applies or during warlike operations:

(i)the Victoria Cross;

(ii)the Cross of Valour;

(iii)the Star of Courage;

(iv)the Distinguished Service Order;

(v)the Distinguished Service Cross;

(vi)the Military Cross;

(vii)the Distinguished Flying Cross;

(viii)the Distinguished Conduct Medal;

(ix)the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal;

(x)the Distinguished Service Medal;

(xi)the Military Medal;

(xii)the Distinguished Flying Medal;

(xiii)the member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division);

(xiv)              the Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division) (1919-1958);

(xv)              the Medal of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division) with Gallantry Emblem (1958-1974);

(xvi)              the Victoria Cross for Australia;

(xvii)              the Star of Gallantry;

(xviii)              the Medal for Gallantry; and

(b)the George Cross; and

(c)the George Medal; and

(d)such other decorations, awarded for gallantry during a war to which this Act applies or during warlike operations, as are prescribed.

Other Legislative Changes

  • Subsection 102(2) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 was repealed.  This subsection is obsolete as gratuities are no longer paid in respect to awards.
  • S102(6) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986, which refers to the award of a bar to decorations, has been repealed because the provision is no longer necessary . 
  • These changes will not impact upon processing this allowance.

Date of Effect

These amendments took effect on 29 June 2004 when the Amending Act received the Royal Assent.

ACTION

  • Note the extended eligibility for these allowances; and
  • ensure that Victoria Cross Allowance recipients receive the correct annual rate.

Carolyn Spiers

Branch Head

Veterans' Compensation

16 November 2004


Attachment A

198FA  Indexation of Victoria Cross allowance

(1)In this section, unless the contrary intention appears:

index number, in relation to a quarter, means the All Groups Consumer Price Index number, being the weighted average of the 8 capital cities, published by the Australian Statistician for that quarter.

relevant rate means the rate specified in subsection 103(4).

year to which this section applies means:

(a)the year commencing on 20 September 2005; or

(b)any later year commencing on 20 September.

(2)Subject to subsection (3), if at any time, whether before or after the commencement of this section, the Australian Statistician has published or publishes an index number in respect of a quarter in substitution for an index number previously published by the Australian Statistician in respect of that quarter, the publication of the later index number is to be disregarded for the purposes of this section.

(3)If at any time, whether before or after the commencement of this section, the Australian Statistician has changed or changes the reference base for the consumer price index, then, for the purposes of the application of this section after the change took place, or takes place, regard is to be had only to index numbers published in terms of the new reference base.

(4)Where the factor worked out under subsection (5) in relation to a relevant rate in relation to a year to which this section applies is greater than 1, this Act, and any Act that refers to this Act, have effect as if for that relevant rate there were substituted, on the first day of that year:

(a)subject to paragraph (b)—the rate worked out by multiplying by that factor:

(i)where subparagraph (ii) does not apply—the relevant rate; or

(ii)if, because of another application or other applications of this section, this Act has had effect as if another rate was substituted, or other rates were successively substituted, for the relevant rate—the substituted rate or the last substituted rate, as the case may be; or

(b)where the amount of the rate worked out under paragraph (a) is not a multiple of one dollar—a rate equal to that amount rounded up to the nearest multiple of one dollar.

(5)The factor to be worked out for the purposes of subsection (4) in relation to a year to which this section applies is:

(a)in relation to the year commencing on 20 September 2005—the number, calculated to 3 decimal places, worked out by dividing the index number for the June quarter 2005 by the index number for the June quarter 2004; or

(b)in relation to each subsequent year—the number calculated to 3 decimal places, worked out by dividing the index number for the last preceding June quarter by the highest index number in respect of an earlier June quarter, not being a June quarter that occurred before 2005; or

(c)if the number worked out under paragraph (a) or (b) would, if it were calculated to 4 decimal places, end in a number greater than 4—the number so worked out increased by 0.001.

(6)Where, because of the application of this section, this Act has effect as if another rate were substituted for a relevant rate on the first day of a year to which this section applies, the substitution, in so far as it affects instalments of Victoria Cross allowance under this Act, has effect in relation to every instalment of the allowance that falls due on or after the first day of that year.