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Criticism of plan to cut family allowances



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H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

O FFIC E OF PH ILIP RUD DOCK. M .P. MEMBER FOR DUNDAS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC AFFAIRS

SUITE 3 0 2 EASTWOOD CENTRE 16 0 ROWE STREET EASTWOOD. N S W. 2 1 2 2 TEL 8 5 8 1 0 1 1

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA, A CT. 2 6 0 0 TEL. (0 6 2 ) 7 2 1211

22.4.1985 Ref 344

•phone 858.3367

PRESS RELEASE

CRITICISM OF PLAN TO CUT FAMILY ALLOWANCES

Federal Member for Dundas and Shadow Minister for Immigration & Ethnic Affairs, Philip Ruddock has voiced the Opposition's criticism of the Labor Government's rumoured plan to cut Family Allowances.

'Family allowance is not a welfare payment, but rather a payment to assist families with the cost of raising Australia's most valuable resource, their children.'

Mr Ruddock said most payments go to families with more than two children 'and this is as it should be for every study done on poverty, including the Henderson Royal Commission, has recognised the fact that large families are more likely to be in poverty than smaller families.'

'Family allowances have already been kept low and have not increased with the cost of living as the family income supplement has become the welfare payment tied to an income test.' ·

Mr Ruddock said the Opposition was concerned about the Labor Govern­ ment's intentions.

'Does the Government intend to ignore its responsibilities to all families and limit family allowance to only those families already receiving the family income supplement?'

Mr Ruddock said the Ministerial suggestion of a flat rate allowance is 'ludicrous'.

Ά flat rate will give greater payments to smaller families with one or two children, but will pay even less to larger families who need the payment even more. '

'In 1976, the Fraser Government introduced a fairer system by removing tax deductions for children from the taxation system (since only taxpayers received these deductions) and introduced family allowances as part of the social security system'.

'The Labor Government must be made to recognise that family allowances are based on the principle that it costs more to raise children than to remain childless and that the family's ability to raise those children

decreases with each additional child and, therefore, the present

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A s R e l e a s e

p r o g r e s s i v e s y s t e m m u s t be r e t a i n e d . '

Mr R u d d o c k said t h e r e are over s e v e n t e e n t h o u s a n d f a m i l i e s w i t h i n the D u n d a s e l e c t o r a t e a l o n e r e c e i v i n g F a m i l y A l l o w a n c e s .

'This f i g u r e r e p r e s e n t s m o r e t h a n t h i r t y t h r e e t h o u s a n d c h i l d r e n , so I am sure that t h i s m a t t e r will be one of m u c h i n t e r e s t l o c a l l y . 1