Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Government continues to ‘help’ parents with the cost of raising kids

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today said that the ACOSS announcement did not paint a full or accurate picture of the substantial amount of financial assistance the Howard Government provides to families with children.

Senator Patterson said, “Families today receive generous assistance from the Howard Government. Over 2 million families with 3.5 million children receive more than $2 billion extra in family assistance each year since the introduction of the new tax system.”

“Families receive around $6,000 a year on average in Family Tax Benefits to assist them with the costs of raising their children,” Senator Patterson said.

“Most families would expect to contribute towards the cost of raising their child.

“ACOSS does not take account of the full range of Government assistance provided to families including Parenting Payment, Childcare Benefit and the First Child Tax Refund.

” For example, a single income family earning $30,000 per annum with one child aged between 5 and 12 years, would be entitled to receive the maximum amount of FTB Part A and Part B totalling $101.29 per week. They may also be entitled to receive an additional $55.44 per week in Rent Assistance.

ACOSS commented at the time FTB was introduced: “We welcome the boost to payments for families with children including sole parents.”

The Howard Government has also funded an additional 204,000 childcare places to assist families.

The Howard Government’s responsible economic management has benefited families with the creation of nearly 1.3 million jobs, inflation below three per cent and interest rates unimaginable under Labor.