Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Youth and students receiving substantial support

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony today said that the Australian Government would support young people through more than $2.8 billion in payments and programs next financial year.

Mr Anthony was responding to claims made by ACOSS in their submission to the Senate Inquiry on Student Income Support.

“Youth Allowance has been a very successful Government initiative that is providing flexible income support for more than 370,000 young people. It’s important to remember that under Labor’s Austudy payment, it was easier to get the dole than it was to study.

“Youth Allowance has encouraged more young people than ever before to take up study or training. The Australian Government also introduced Rent Assistance for eligible recipients of Youth Allowance for the first time.

“I reject ACOSS’s claim that students are missing out. Full-time students receiving Youth Allowance and AUSTUDY are able to access concessions not available under other payments:

  • They are able to earn up to $236 per fortnight before their payment is affected.
  • For students earning money in vacation time, they can access the Student Income Bank, giving them the ability to earn up to $6,000.

“The Coalition Government believes in offering Australian families choice. Families with children aged over 16 years can choose between receiving Family Tax Benefit or Youth Allowance, depending which better suits their circumstances.

“ACOSS is wrong in their assertion that families with teenagers aged 16-17 years missed out on the extra payment of $600 assistance enjoyed by families with younger children.

“The families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A for their teenagers will receive the one-off $600 bonus per child in the next two weeks and another $600 per child in the new financial year.

“Families with 16-17 year olds receiving the dependent rate of Youth Allowance on Budget night will also receive the one-off $600 bonus in the next two weeks.

“The suggestion to extend Rent Assistance to dependent young people, that is young people living at home, does not make sense. By definition, dependent young people are under the care of their parents or guardians and are not paying market rental prices for their accommodation. It is their parent or guardian who is tested for eligibility for Rent Assistance.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting Australia’s young people and will continue to ensure they are studying or looking for work,” Mr Anthony said