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Savings bonus windfalls to flow.

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Senator Jocelyn Newman

Minister for Family & Community Services

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women  

8 July 2000


More than 600,000 older Australians will find their bank accounts boosted from Monday with the arrival of savings bonus payments under the New Tax System.

Payments of the Aged Persons Savings Bonus of up to $1,000 and the Self Funded Retirees Supplementary bonus of up to $2,000 will begin to be deposited into bank accounts from Monday.

"I am pleased to say that we have started getting these payments out to people very quickly" Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Jocelyn Newman said today.

The bonuses are part of the tax reform package and will help compensate older people for any erosion of purchasing power of their savings and investments following the introduction of the GST.

They are being paid to older people who rely on their savings and investment income to help fund their retirement.

Meanwhile, Senator Newman said that many families are finding themselves pleasantly surprised by the increases in family assistance payments under the New Tax System.

"A very large percentage of callers to the Family Assistance Office call centre are checking that they are actually entitled to the payment they are receiving,'' said Senator Newman.

"Many parents are amazed how much more their family is getting and they're ringing the Family Assistance Office to confirm this.''

Families are finding that they are sharing in the $2.4 billion in increased assistance and a simpler family payment structure. Twelve complex payments have been simplified to three easier to understand payments, Family Tax Benefit, Part A, Family Tax Benefit, Part B and Child Care Benefit.

The maximum rates of Family Tax Benefit Part A includes an extra $140 per year for each dependent child. In addition, the eased income test and extra Rent Assistance for families who rent privately mean that over two million families are benefiting from the increase in payments due to the New Tax System.

A more lenient income test also applies to Family Tax Benefit Part B, providing extra assistance for single income families (including sole parents) and to all families receiving help with the cost of child care through the new Child Care Benefit.

Last week over 560 Family Assistance Offices were opened in existing Centrelink Offices, Medicare Offices and ATOaccess and enquiry offices. These provide one-stop shops for families so they no longer have to go to three different government agencies to receive their entitlements.

Media enquiries: Richard Wilson (02) 6277 7560 or 0419 693092

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