Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

A sustainable family payments system

The Australian Government is making changes to the Baby Bonus that maintains support for new parents, while ensuring the family payments system is sustainable into the future.

For babies born on or after 1 September 2012, the rate of the Baby Bonus will be reset to $5,000, from its current rate of $5,437. Indexation of the Baby bonus will be paused from 1 July 2012 until 1 July 2015.

The Baby Bonus is paid in 13 fortnightly instalments. This modest reduction of around $34 a fortnight will help ensure the family payments system remains sustainable into the future. It will deliver a saving of $358 million over four years.

The Baby Bonus will continue to be paid in 13 fortnightly instalments, with the first instalment being $846 and the balance being paid in 12 fortnightly instalments of $346.

Following this change, the Baby Bonus will have increased by 67 per cent since it was introduced at $3,000 in 2004.

The payment will continue to help new parents with the upfront costs of having a baby such as buying a pram, baby clothes and setting up a bedroom.

Families can visit the Family Assist website to help decide whether applying for the Baby Bonus or Paid Parental Leave is the best financial decision for them.

This year, the Australian Government will deliver more than $20 billion in payments to support Australian families.