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Two thirds of families caught in John Howard's family payment debt trap.

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Wayne Swan MP

Shadow Minister for Family & Community Services

Wayne Swan

Two Thirds Of Families Caught In John Howard's Family Payment Debt Trap

Media Statement - 17th September 2004 New leaked figures show John Howard's family payment debt trap has caught more than 1.4 million families in just three years — two thirds of all those receiving payments. Almost seven in ten of the 2.2 million Australian families receiving family payments have been hit with an end of year debt in just three years. More than half a million families have had multiple debts. Yesterday Senator Patterson admitted that 1.8 million families have not received Mr Howard's promised $600 payment. These figures show that many will never get the money. The Howard Government is deviously and deliberately withholding information from these families until after they vote on 9 October. Sole parent families who receive lump sum child support payments, mothers returning to work after the birth of a child and stay at home mums who work casually are at greatest risk of large debts under John Howard's punitive rules. Three years ago on the eve of the last election, Mr Howard gave families a $1,000 waiver from family payment debt and he said there was no need to fix the system because debts would not be repeated. His $600 is just a rerun of this deception. The $600 on offer before the election will be taken away by John Howard if he is re-elected. He's done it before, he'll do it again.

John Howard's failure to fix the family payment debt trap throws family budgets into chaos and puts them under increased financial pressure. Only Labor has a plan to wipe away family payment debts and give families more each week when they need it.