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Helping grandparents caring for kids: Statement by federal Labor leader Mark Latham and Wayne Swan, Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services. \n



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FEDERAL LABOR LEADER MARK LATHAM

STATEMENT BY FEDERAL LABOR LEADER MARK LATHAM AND WAYNE SWAN, SHADOW MINSTER FOR FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SERVICES

Helping grandparents caring for kids

A Federal Labor Government will provide $144 million over the next four years to help the 27,000 Australian grandparents who have dependent grand children.

Labor’s new Grandparenting Allowance will provide eligible grandparents with $20 a week for each child in their care to help with the additional costs of childrearing.

The allowance will be paid to grandparents acting as primary carers who are eligible for Labor’s Better Family Payment.

It will be in addition to the benefits they will receive as part of Labor’s Tax and Better Family Payment Plan.

Every year more and more Australian children are growing up with their grandparents as primary carers.

The new allowance recognises the support grandparents provide for grandchildren in their care, and the significant financial pressure they face.

The allowance will be introduced from 1 January 2005.

The nation owes a debt of gratitude to grandparents who provide their grandchildren with a loving home, making this sacrifice after they have already sacrificed so much to raise their own children.

The time has come to give these grandparents the recognition they deserve.

Many are on the pension, and often struggle financially with their additional responsibilities.

State and territory governments provide support arrangements, but there is value in national consistency, and additional federal support for grandparents will ease pressure on the foster care system.

Only Labor’s commitment to better income support will provide them with increased payments week in, week out - when it counts.

Grandparents caring for grandchildren will be better off under Labor’s policy than under the recent changes to childcare promised by John Howard.

Cost ($m):

04-05 05-06 06-07 07-08 TOTAL

$19.7 $40.7 $42.0 $43.2 $145.6

BRISBANE 29 SEPTEMBER 2004