Media Release by The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Youth allowance changes to give rural and regional families greater choice

The Abbott Coalition Government will introduce more generous means testing arrangements for youth payments, to help regional and rural family’s better support the transition of their children from school to further study, Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison said today.

“The Coalition Government will remove the Family Asset Test and Family Actual Means Test from the Youth Allowance Parental Income Test. This 2015-16 Budget measure will base the assessment of a young person’s access to Youth Allowance on a fairer measure of family income than the current system,” Minister Morrison said.

“Removing the asset test will enable around 4,100 additional dependent Youth Allowance recipients to qualify for the first time, accessing average annual payments of more than $7,000 a year.

“The removal of the means test will see a further 1,200 people receive Youth Allowance for the first time as well as increase payments for around 4,860 existing students by approximately $2,000 a year.

“The changes will mean farming families will not have farm assets counted toward the test for their children accessing Youth Allowance.

“We will also be changing the Youth Allowance parental income testing arrangements to include all Family Tax Benefit children in the family pool. The current test only includes children over 16. Counting all children will soften reductions in Youth Allowance as the family’s income increases.

This will see:

  • Around 13,700 families with dependent children in both the Family Tax Benefit Part A and youth systems eligible for an average increase in payment of $43 per fortnight ($1,118 per annum).
  • Around 5,800 families, who currently miss out on payments due to higher taper rates will be eligible for an average payment of around $50 per fortnight ($1,300 per annum).

“Simplifying the parental means tests will provide additional assistance for working families to support their children make the transition from school to further study.

“These changes are great news for rural and regional families, boosting the number of families we assist, the level of that assistance, encouraging more young people into study to build their careers, develop economic opportunities, and contribute to our economy,” Minister Morrison said.