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Increase to Family Tax Benefit from 1 July 2004



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Minister for Family and Community Services

Media Release

Increase to Family Tax Benefit from 1 July 2004

27/06/2004

About two million Australian families will receive nearly an extra quarter of a billion dollars in Family Tax Benefit payments from July 1 to assist them to meet the cost of raising their children.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, said families will benefit from an indexation increase of 2.4 per cent for the Family Tax Benefit from 1 July this year.

Senator Patterson said: "This indexation increase means more families will be eligible for Family Tax Benefit and they will receive higher rates of assistance.

"Australian families now receive an average of $7000 a year in FTB Parts A and B in recognition of the extra costs of raising children.

"Since 1996, the Government has increased the maximum and base rates of payments by $940 per year for each child - a real increase in the base rate of more than 110 per cent."

Senator Patterson said under the indexation rises from July 1 the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A will increase by $80.30 a year, bringing the fortnightly payment to $133.56.

"Families with children aged from 13 to 15 years will have their payment increased by $102.20 a year, bringing the fortnightly payment to $169.40."

In addition to this indexation increase, from September this year all eligible families will benefit from the ongoing $600 per child increase in the base and maximum rates of FTB A. This increase is only available to eligible families as a lump sum.

This ongoing increase is on top of the one-off $600 per child bonus payment that has already been made to almost 2 million Australian families eligible for FTB A. This one-off payment to families is the social dividend from the Howard Government's strong economic management.

Senator Patterson said: "The amount of income a family can earn before it affects their Part A payment will also increase by $730 per year to $32,485 and the level where payment stops will be $89,803 for a family with one child under 13.

"This increase, combined with the reduced income test taper rate announced in the Budget, will give a family with two children under 13 and taxable income of $35,000 an extra $657.50 each year in assistance."

Senator Patterson said families with one main income earner will also benefit from increases to the rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B.

With the indexation rises, a family with a child aged under five years will get a rise from July 1 in the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B of $69.35 a year, bringing the fortnightly payment to $114.66.

Families with children aged 5-15 years will have their payment increased by $47.45 a year, bringing the fortnightly payment to $79.94.

Senator Patterson said: "These increases come on top of the measures announced in the Budget to increase the amount of income such families can earn before it affects their FTB Part B payment and to reduce the income test taper rate."

Families can contact the Family Assistance Office by visiting their nearest office located in Centrelink, Medicare offices and ATOaccess and enquiry sites or by phoning 13 6150 weekdays, 8am to 8pm (local time).