Indexation increases to support Australian families
From 1 July 2010, the Baby Bonus, paid in 13 fortnightly instalments, will increase by more than $100 to $5,294 through indexation, benefiting around 270,000 parents of newborn babies.
More than two million Australian families receiving Family Tax Benefit (FTB) will also benefit from increases to payment rates, thresholds and limits.
With the indexation increases, the maximum yearly rate for Family Tax Part A, payment for a child under 12 rises by $87 to just over $4,179. For parents of a child aged between 13 and 15, the maximum yearly payment goes up by $113 bringing the yearly rate to just over $5,434.
For families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part B, the maximum rate where their youngest child is under five rises by $73 to $3,555 and by $51 to just over $2,478 when the youngest child is aged between five and 18.
These increases are in line with the 2.1 per cent increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to December 2009.
The costs of raising children can put families under financial strain. The indexation of payments reflects the cost pressures faced by parents as they pay the bills and balance the family budget.
As well as increasing the Baby Bonus and family payments, more than one million Australians on part-rate pensions will benefit from increases in the income test and assets test free areas.
These include people receiving the Age Pension, Wife Pension, Widow B Pension, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension and Parenting Payment Single.
Certain pension thresholds and income and assets test free areas and cut offs are adjusted in line with the CPI figures.
This means a part pensioner will be able to earn more income or own more assets before their pension is reduced.
The pension assets test free area for a single homeowner will increase by $3,750 to $181,750, and for a homeowner couple combined, by $5,500 to $258,000. Assets, other than the family home, are included in the assets test.
The full list of all changes to rates and thresholds is available at: http://jennymacklin.fahcsia.gov.au/node/1929