Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Government delivers on commitment to Australian families

Families will receive greater assistance from the Australian Government with a number of increases to family payments coming on line from today.

Minister for Families and Community Services, Mal Brough, said the 2006/07 Budget measures would mean more money in the pockets of Australian families.

"The Government is committed to providing services and assistance which promote healthy family relationships, enable parents to return to the workforce and give families the opportunity to participate fully in their local communities," Mr Brough said.

From July 1 2006, the following changes will take place:

Maternity Payment

  • The Maternity payment will increase from $3166 to $4000 per child.

Family Tax Benefit (FTB)

  • The maximum fortnightly rate of FTB (A) for families with a child aged under 13 years will increase by $3.78 to $140.84 and the maximum fortnightly rate of FTB (A) for families with a child aged 13 to 15 years will increase by $6.02 to $179.76.
  • FTB (A) income threshold increase from $33,361 to $40,000. This will provide up to $50 p/fn in additional assistance for around 500,000 families, and will provide around 86,000 additional families with a Health Care Card.
  • The Large Family Supplement will be extended to families with three children.

Child Care Benefit (CCB)

  • The maximum assistance for families using full-time child care will increase from $144.00 a week to $148.00 for one child, from $300.99 to $309.35 for two children and from $469.78 to $482.84 for three children.
  • Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) and Family Day Care (FDC)
  • There will no longer be a limit on the number of OSHC and FDC places, resulting in 99 per cent of child care places being uncapped.
  • This means that all new OSHC and FDC services will be automatically eligible for Child Care Benefit (CCB), provided they meet relevant criteria, including state and territory licensing requirements.

Disabilities and Carers

  • Extension of Carer Payment to carers of severely disabled children.

Mr Brough said the first stage of the Child Support reform agenda, which aims to deliver a system that acts in the best interests of children, would also be coming into effect on July 1.

"These changes prove the Howard Government’s commitment to delivering continued support and assistance to Australian families," Mr Brough said.