Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Extra assistance for 1.3 million Australian families

Over 1.3 million Australians will benefit from the early delivery of the Howard Government’s almost $2 billion Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part B election commitment.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, speaking at today’s Australian Institute of Family Studies conference in Melbourne, announced she was bringing forward by six-months to 1 January 2005, the election commitment to increase FTB Part B by $300.

“The decision to provide a six-month advance will mean that families receiving FTB Part B will be eligible for a cash bonus of up to $150 from 1 July 2005 after they lodge their tax return. Every year thereafter families will be eligible for the $300 annual increase after they lodge their tax returns.

“Increasing this payment for stay-at-home mums and dads, is just another example of how the Howard Government is seeking to improve the choices available to families in how they arrange their lives according to their personal circumstances.

“Following the positive response I received from parents who received the lump sum payments last year, I have decided to deliver this commitment in a lump sum also. Parents have told me the lump sum allowed them to purchase items such as school uniforms, replace household goods, pay for a special sporting activity and provide a boost to saving for their children’s future.

“I am delighted to be able to announce this early payment, made possible by the Howard Government’s strong economic management.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting Australian families and this is yet another example of that commitment,” Senator Patterson said.

Further information for families is available from the Family Assistance Office or by calling 13 61 50.