Nation Building and Jobs Plan – ABC Hobart Drive
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JENNY MACKLIN: Good to be with you Louise.
LOUISE SAUNDERS: Now the ability to qualify for this up to $950, how many people, how many Australians do you think will meet the criteria?
JENNY MACKLIN: Well there are different measures so maybe if I go through each of them for you. First of all there is a tax bonus, so for people who are earning up to $80,000 they will receive $950, that will be a bonus paid to those tax payers. For people earning between $80,000 and $90,000 they will receive $650, and those between $90,000 and $100,000 will receive $300. If we go on to families, single income families will receive $950 and that will support around 1.5 million families with only one main income earner. There will be a $950 Farmer’s Hardship Bonus and we expect that to go to around 21,500 drought affected farmers and also farm dependent small business owners receiving exceptional circumstances related income support. For many families with school aged children there will be a $950 per child Back to School Bonus and that will go to lower and middle income families who are receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A. And finally there’s a $950 Training and Learning Bonus and that will go to students and people outside of the workforce who are returning to study.
LOUISE SAUNDERS: So in some cases people may be eligible for this payment more than once?
JENNY MACKLIN: Yes, obviously if you have more than one child. So that’s the first case. If you are paying tax and within the income ranges that I described and you have children, then you will be eligible for more than one. The same if you are a farmer in that situation and you have children the same applies.
LOUISE SAUNDERS: For the income tested one is that based on your tax return from the previous year, your level of income there?
JENNY MACKLIN: It will be based on your most recent tax return, that’s right. So your 2007-8 financial tax return.
LOUISE SAUNDERS: Are there any of these in which you need to specifically apply for the payment?
JENNY MACKLIN: In the case of the Family Tax Benefit A arrangements, as with the payments that went out in December. If you are currently receiving Tax Benefit A or Family Tax Benefit B as of today, so you’ll have a child in that age range today that I described, aged 4 to 18, then you’ll receive that payment automatically from Centrelink. So it is different, it’s complicated, so it will be different for each of the different payments, but if people have any questions the best thing for them to do is to get onto their local Centrelink.
LOUISE SAUNDERS: Does that include people who are in the workforce and feel that they may have missed out or have been incorrectly paid?
JENNY MACKLIN: If people are unsure of their income range, they may have given an estimate to Centrelink of their income, it is best for them to contact Centrelink. We had a lot of those sorts of questions with the December payments and the best thing is to contact Centrelink and they will help you sort it out.
LOUISE SAUNDERS: And what’s the total estimated cost of this?
JENNY MACKLIN: Of the whole package?
LOUISE SAUNDERS: Yes.
JENNY MACKLIN: The whole package is $42billion, so that’s obviously a very significant package. About two-thirds of that will go on infrastructure, so the money that will be spent upgrading schools, the money that will be spent building new public housing, there’s money for local government infrastructure. The payments area is worth a bit over $12 billion.
LOUISE SAUNDERS: I’ve had calls from a couple of people on pensions today to say that there’s nothing in this for pensioners.
JENNY MACKLIN: Well of course we made very significant down payments for pensioners in December and those pensioners understand that we have made a commitment to add to that down payment in the forthcoming Budget when we will implement pension reform. The payments that we made to pensioners in December were $1,400 for singles, and $2,100 for couples. Of course, any part pensioner or self funded retiree who is paying tax will be eligible for the tax bonus within the income ranges that I’ve described.
LOUISE SAUNDERS: I appreciate your time Jenny Macklin, thank you.
JENNY MACKLIN: Thank you.