Passage of Bill to protect charitable sector employees
Legislation has been passed into law that will protect charitable sector employees from Howard Government 2006 Budget measures that would have seen many employees lose up to $100 a fortnight from 1 July.
The passage of this legislation is a last-minute reprieve for employees in the not-for-profit sector from the Howard Government’s fringe benefit tax changes.
The Government moved urgent amendments to the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and other Legislation Amendment (2008 Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2008 to protect not-for-profit employees after the adverse impact on the sector of the Howard Government measures became clear.
The Rudd Government’s amendments have restored the use of the net reportable fringe benefit in income definitions for Family Assistance.
This has ensured staff in not-for-profit organisations will not suffer a loss of family tax or child care benefits after 1 July 2008 if their circumstances have not otherwise changed.
Up to 85,000 Centrelink customers are expected to benefit from this decision.
The Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and other Legislation Amendment (2008 Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2008 carries a range of important budget measures, including:
- Introduction of a $150,000 limit on primary earner income for family tax benefit part B and related dependency tax offsets;
- Introduction of an income test on the Baby Bonus, limiting eligibility to families with incomes equivalent to $150,000 or less per year, payment in 13 instalments, indexation once a year and an increase age limit for adopted children;
- Collection of tax file numbers to check the eligibility of Commonwealth seniors health card holders;
- Voluntary referrals into income management where individuals feel, for example, that this would assist them to manage their finances better; and
- Alignment of the minimum eligible age for partner service pension, paid under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act, with that of veteran service pension age.