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A New Tax System (Family Assistance and Related Measures) Bill 2000

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A NEW TAX SYSTEM (FAMILY ASSISTANCE

AND RELATED MEASURES) BILL 2000

 

 

AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DISAGREEMENT WITH CERTAIN PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

 

 

Senate amendments number (2), (3) and (4) are not acceptable for the following reasons:

 

1.         The Parliament passed legislation which introduced the 10 per cent threshold for sharing of Family Tax Benefit in June last year.

 

2.         The existing 10 per cent threshold is a reasonable test of material care, recognising that parents with this level of care incur significant costs in caring for their child.  Recent Australian research shows that parents with this level of care or more incur relatively significant costs due to the need to provide a bedroom, furnishings, food, clothes, health care and entertainment.

 

3.         The Senate amendments would move the sharing threshold to 30%, and allow sharing of payment at a lower level on application but only with the agreement of both separated parents.  The amendments would give power to one parent with between 70% and 90% care to affect the financial situation of their former partner who has up to 30% care of the child.

 

4.         The amendments would put at risk the entitlements of parents who have substantial ongoing care arrangements of a child such as every weekend, or every second weekend plus half the school holidays.

 

5.         To ensure fairness, it is essential that a parent’s entitlement to family assistance be determined by the Family Assistance Office, and not be dependent on the discretion of a former partner.

 

6.         The amendments would jeopardise the proper implementation of the family assistance legislation and result in increased administrative costs.

 

 

Accordingly, the House does not accept these amendments.