Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Australia’s transfer system

Family assistance and government transfer payments are a key part of the Australia’s Future Tax System discussion paper released today by Treasury Secretary, Dr Ken Henry.

At various times in our lives, almost every Australian will come into contact with the transfer system.

Payments like Family Tax Benefit, Age Pension and the Baby Bonus are all part of Australia’s transfer system.

The 40 cash transfers paid to Australians by the Australian Government, costing more than $70 billion in 2006-07, will be scrutinised, including how they intersect with the taxation system.

Australia has changed enormously over the last decades. But our transfer system has not kept pace.

We need a responsive and targeted social and income support system that meets the changing realities for Australian working families, is geared to workforce participation and provides adequate support for life changes.

The Henry Review discussion paper examines various issues and challenges currently facing Australia’s transfer system.

It will stimulate national discussion on how the transfer system should be designed to reflect the changing nature of Australian society.

It’s time for a modern system to support modern Australian families. We need a transfer system that will prepare Australia for the challenges of the future.