Expert Opinion Panel
Jason Bryce – Business & Finance Specialist
The new deal between Labor and Liberal is in
Family Tax Benefit cuts – are you losing money?
By Jason Bryce | 14 September 2016
Now a new deal between treasurer
and Labor’s treasury spokesperson…
About six million Australians are in families that receive at least some Family Tax Benefits including at least 150,000 single parent family units.
Family Tax Benefits are a key battleground for the government as it searches for budget savings. Some cuts and changes have already been legislated. Others have been proposed since 2014. Now a new deal between treasurer Scott Morrison MP and Labor’s treasury spokesperson Chris Bowen, outlines what is going, and what parts of Family Tax Benefit have been spared:
The two main parties have agreed to drop the Abbott and Turnbull plan to phase out Family Tax Benefit end of year supplements. That’s a saving of $726 per child per year for FTB Part A and $354 per family for FTB Part B families. That’s great news, except for working families with incomes over $80,000.
Morrison and Bowen have agreed to continue with the axeing of the Family Tax Benefit Part A end of year supplement (up to $726 per child) for families earning over $80,000 per year. Families with incomes under $80,000 keep their supplement. The Family Tax Benefit top income threshold is now $100,000. This change will catch hundreds of thousands of working families.
The government will not axe the Child Dental Benefits Scheme which provides free dental for FTB Part A families. That is a win for Chris Bowen who fought for this Labor program. The Child Dental Benefits Scheme has been under-subscribed, meaning most parents have not used it. The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, says the government has not given up on cutting CDBS, but will ‘progress reforms to dental services through separate legislation.’
Liberal and Labor have agreed to axe the energy supplement for new applicants for Family Tax Benefit – $1.40 per child per fortnight. Existing FTB families will get to keep their energy supplement. New applicants for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card will also lose their supplement.
The single mum baby bonus is off the table. One of the stranger election promises, driven by the National Party, was a new $1,000 baby bonus for Family Tax Benefit Part B families. FTB Part B families are single income, mostly single parent families. That election promise has been dumped.
Treasurer Scott Morrison MP
The Child Dental Scheme has been saved
With a new top income threshold of $80,000 for FTB Part A end of year supplement now agreed to by the major parties, families can expect further trims and tweaks to Family Tax Benefits for working families.
The $80,000 threshold could easily be extended in future years to Family Tax Benefit Part B and Family Tax Benefit Part A fortnightly payments.
Business & Finance Journalist
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Jason is a business and finance journalist with 20 years experience, and is also a member of the SingleMum.com.au Expert Opinion Panel. He has a regular weekly column in the Sunday Mail (Brisbane) and writes regularly for the Business Daily section of the Herald Sun in Melbourne and many other newspapers and magazines. Read Jason Bryce’s full profile here
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