Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More support for families, children, carers and seniors

Families and children, senior Australians and carers will all benefit under new and expanded initiatives which start today.

These measures strengthen the Gillard Government’s commitment to supporting Australian families and senior Australians.

Supporting families

  • More than 2 million families will benefit from indexation increases to family payments. The maximum fortnightly rate for Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A and Part B will both be increased.
  • New parents will be assisted with the upfront costs of having a baby such as buying a pram and setting up a bedroom by receiving $500 more of the Baby Bonus payment in the first instalment.
  • Australian businesses will deliver Government-funded paid parental leave to eligible employees with babies born from today, giving parents an important connection to the workforce while they take time off for a new baby.
  • More than 1.3 million families who receive Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A will be able to access more flexible advance payments, giving them more options to choose the timing and amount of advance payments to meet unexpected costs.
  • Vulnerable families across Australia will be supported with more than $1 billion under the Government’s new Family Support Program through services in 2,700 locations around the country.
  • Around 300 grandparents who are raising children will get extra support through 25 MyTime for Grandparents peer support groups across the country.

Supporting children

  • The Government is delivering on its election commitment to introduce new requirements for families on an income support payment to help ensure their four year old child gets a health assessment before starting school.
  • More than 35,000 children living in out of home care will benefit from the first ever national standards to protect their health, safety and wellbeing.

Supporting carers

  • Carers of around 9,000 children with disability affecting their development will be supported with targeted early intervention services through the Government’s $147 million Better Start for Children with Disability program.
  • More than 530,000 carers will also receive the annual Carer Supplement of $600, with carers most under financial pressure receiving at least two payments.
  • Carers of children with disability with also receive the annual $1,000 Child Disability Assistance Payment.

Supporting senior Australians

  • Under a new and improved Work Bonus, eligible pensioners can earn up to $250 a fortnight without it being taken into account as income under the pension income test.