Govt Flags More Changes to Family Tax Benefit
Tuesday, 20th October 2015 at 3:48 pm
The Federal Government has mooted more changes to the Family Tax Benefit Part B, this time changing the cut off age for benefits when children reach 12 years of age.
Originally introduced in the 2013-14 Budget, the Government planned to reduce the eligibility of families with children from 16 years of age to six – a move described at the time by the Not for Profit sector as untenable.
However, media reports claim the Government is about to water down the plan in a bid to get the measures through the Senate.
“The discussions included the option of stopping Family Tax Benefit Part B payments when a child turns 12, instead of the proposed plan, which was to cut the payments from when a child turned six,” according to a News Limited report.
However the Australian Greens said the change was still an attack on vulnerable families.
“The mooted adjusted proposal for cuts to the Family Tax Benefit Part B are another example of the Government pursuing watered down measures that still disproportionately targets our most vulnerable,” Australian Greens spokesperson on families, Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“The Government should not be cutting the payments that particularly hurt single parents. The Australian Greens will not be supporting a measure that cuts off the Family Tax Benefit Part B when a child turns 12 instead of 16.
“Kicking single parents off Parenting Payment Single onto Newstart caused significant harm to single parents and their families. If the Government wants to help single parents they should return them to Parenting Payment Single.
“I urge the Government to pursue budget saving measures that focus on the big end of town. There are viable alternatives that could generate savings without attacking struggling single parents.
“We are a caring society and can do better”.
In May 2015, welfare peak body ACOSS said the original cut to Family Tax Benefit Part B to single income families with children over six years would result in income losses of $49 per week for single parent families or more for those with older children.
“This cut will have dire consequences, particularly when taken together with the freezing of family payments indexation – a condition for the new investment in child care – given that a third of sole parent families are already living in poverty.”