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Family First calls for family budget.



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MEDIA RELEASE SF/29. Sunday February 5, 2006

FAMILY FIRST CALLS FOR FAMILY BUDGET

Family First calls on the Prime Minister to reduce the tax burden on all Australians and give special help to families in the Budget by increasing the tax free threshold according to the number of children they have.

Family First wants a family budget that gives special help to families because they have the most important job of all, raising children. We also repeat our call for petrol tax relief. The fact that politicians do not understand how much high petrol prices are hurting ordinary Australians and small businesses shows how out of touch they are.

In a tax policy that puts families first, Family First wants the Government to: • Increase the tax free threshold for all taxpayers from $6,000 to $8,000 this year- rising to $13,000, the equivalent of a subsistence income, in future years. The increase from $6,000 to $8,000 would cost $2.9 billion;

• Give families a further $1000 increase in the tax free threshold for each dependent child. This would cost approximately $1.7 billion. • Cut the petrol excise tax by 10 cents per litre, which would cost $3.8 billion.

It is sensible to increase the tax free threshold from $6,000 to $8,000 because this helps all taxpayers, with lower income earners benefiting the most.

Family First wants to further increase the tax free threshold to the equivalent of $13,000 over the next two or three years. The price tag of an extra $6.7 billion to immediately lift the threshold from $8,000 to $13,000 is too high for this year.

Family First believes Australians should be able to earn a subsistence income, meaning an income they can survive on, before they pay tax.

The amount of $13,000 is common sense as it is roughly the level of welfare income for a single adult with no children.

Family First believes families deserve special help, because they have the most important job of raising children, which is by far the biggest investment Australians

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can make in their own future. Families should have a higher tax free threshold, according to their number of dependent children.

A $1,000 increase in the tax free threshold for each dependent child would give families real tax relief and provide some recognition of the cost of each extra child.

These income tax cuts are in addition to Family First's call for a 10 cent per litre cut in petrol excise tax, which would cost $3.8 billion.

The cut in petrol excise tax and increases in the tax free threshold would give a total of $8.4 billion of the $11.5 billion surplus back to Australian taxpayers.

The changes to the tax free threshold could also allow families to be less dependent on Family Tax Benefits in the long term.

Currently the Government takes a substantial chunk of family income in tax, but gives much of it back to families in benefits.

The Family Tax Benefit system is great for families. But the benefits are paid through the welfare system via Centrelink and are often seen as welfare rather than an entitlement. Welfare payments are always under threat of being cut. Families deserve better. They deserve recognition for the extra costs of raising children, given that children are vital for our nation’s future.

Wouldn't it be better if, rather than churning money through the tax and family payments system and spending money on unnecessary administration, we cut the tax on families instead?

Family First's new tax policy puts families first by allowing them to keep more of their money - not obliging them to apply to the Government to have their own money repaid to them through the family payments system.

For media enquiries phone Chief of Staff Felicity Dargan on 0409 550 446