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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Nearly 500,000 families to lose $848 payment under Labor

The Opposition admitted today that top-up payments, which deliver $848 on average to Australian families, would be scrapped under Labor.

This is the second blow to Australian families at the hands of Labor.

Labor has steadfastly refused to give any undertaking that the Howard Government’s ongoing $600 increase a year in the maximum and base rates of Family Tax Benefit Part A for each dependent child would be guaranteed after 2004-05.

Today, Opposition family spokesman, Wayne Swan, told 2SM that he would abolish what he described as “nonsense ” top-up FTB payments.

According to the latest Departmental data, 478,366 Australian families received an average payment of $848 in top-up FTB payments.

Nearly 500,000 Australian families will be more than $800 worse off under Labor’s family policies.

Mr Swan’s admission he will scrap top-up family payments follows his leader Mark Latham’s refusal after the Budget to give an undertaking that Australian families would not receive less family benefits under Labor than the record payments delivered by the Howard Government.

We now know why he refused to give such an undertaking.