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Labor to invest $289 million to help jobless families from welfare to work.

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Wayne Swan MP Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services

Thursday 9 Sept 20 04


A Latham Government will invest a total of $289 million in child care, training and TAFE places to help jobless families into work.

Labor’s $248 million Families in Work package is the largest capacity and opportunity building program ever offered to jobless families

It will offer up to 80,000 child care, training and TAFE places - a fivefold increase in welfare to work assistance to jobless families.

Jobless parents who study train or look for work will be eligible for child care fee assistance worth up to $70 a week per child. This could be worth up to $3,000 a year for a single parent returning to work. (These gains are not included in Labor’s cameo tables)

Labor is also offering an extra $40 million for parental literacy programs to ensure jobless parents have the skills to gain and keep a job.

Labor’s new and simple payment for families is indexed to grow with wage increases unlike the Government’s shonky pre election payment which will disappear.

It offers increased fortnightly assistance to every low and middle income family and financial incentives for those who move into work (see cameo attached)

Labor’s new simple payment will mean fewer debts and greater certainty for low and middle income families when they need it as the bills come in.

Sole parents who receive maintenance or child support payments will keep extra family payments under Labor’s plan.

Sole parents who receive lump sum maintenance or child support payments are currently at high risk of family payment debts. Labor’s reforms will prevent this unnecessary disruption to family budgets.

Labor will also double the large family supplement from $5 per week per child for the fourth and subsequent child to $10 a week.

Labor is determined to address the poverty traps created by Mr Howard’s irresponsible and temporary pre-election bribes.

Labor is determined to break the poverty cycle which has left Australia with the third highest rate of jobless families in the OECD.

We are determined to write a new life story for the 800,000 children growing up in jobless households. ENDS Web:

Contact: Wayne Swan on 0418 795 329 Michael Lye on 0407 012 088


How Labor’s reforms allow a jobless parent to keep $1,200 extra of earnings when moving off Newstart Allowance and into work.

Alex and Helen are married with 2 children. Alex is unemployed and receives Newstart and Helen receives Parenting Payment Partnered.

Alex finally secures a job offering some part-time work, earning $15,000 per year. Under the current system, Alex would experience an Effective Tax Rate (ETR) of 69% per cent due to the withdrawal of Newstart Allowance and paying income tax.

Under Labor’s Tax and Better Family Payment Plan, Alex will have access to two tax free thresholds under the Tax Free Guarantee with Helen transferring her unused tax free threshold to Alex (her Parenting payment will not affect reduce her full tax free threshold under Labor’s policy).

Alex will also benefit from Labors’s Working Tax Bonus, which will extend his tax free threshold further to almost $15,000. These reforms will ensure Alex will pay virtually no tax over the income range that Newstart is withdrawn.

Compared to the Howard Government’s system, Alex will keep up to $1,200 extra of his new earnings - a significant cash bonus for returning to work.