If youíre a parent who wants the low down on what the new budget means for you, hereís a quick overview. As a bit of a spoiler warning, itís nothing to be excited about so try not to get your hopes up.
Photo: Theeradech Sanin, Freedigitalphotos.net
Family Tax Benefit B The cut off for Family Tax Benefit B has been slashed from $150,000 to $100,000. Additionally, the cut off for families for this benefit, is now limited to where the youngest child is six or older. Previously it was extended to families with children under 18.
No Increases in Family Benefits until 2016-2017 Family benefits will not be revisited in sync with rises in inflation and will instead remain fixed until 2016 or 2017 which will result in a loss of income for families when inflation rises but the benefits do not.
GP Payments You'll now need to pay $7 each time you visit your GP, have a blood test or an X-ray. For families, after their 10th visit, children under 16 will be exempt from the fee (concession card holders will also be exempt from the fee after their 10th visit). With many families possibly foregoing a trip to the GPís to save money, letís look forward to more contagious bugs and illnesses in schools and nurseries, that will also likely impact families negatively.
Hospital Charges for Ailments Where a parent takes a child to the emergency room for a routine ailment, they will now also be allowed to charge for this.
Pricier Medicines Where parents have shelled out $7 to see their GP and been given a prescription, they can now also look forward to more expensive prescriptions, with patients paying a $5 fee for medicines on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme. Concessions card holders will only need to pay an 80 cent fee.
Petrol on the Rise There will be an excise hike in petrol of 1 cent per litre a year adding to a family's outgoings.
Support Your Kids for Longer Greater financial assistance to adult children will now be required from parents, due to changes in both Newstart and the Youth Allowance. The age of eligibility for Newstart is to be raised from 22 to 25; and for Youth Allowance, school leavers will now need to wait 6 months to be eligible for payments. Those under the age of 30 receiving Newstart will only be eligible for payments six months out of every 12 months that they remain unemployed.