Australia’s most vulnerable families will suffer from the Turnbull government’s plan to “scale back” the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) scheme, according to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).
Announced last week, the revised legislation would see families lose FTB payments when their youngest child turns 13, and could cost single-parent families up to $1700 a year.
This comes after the Abbot government’s plan to stop FTB Part B payments at age 6 was blocked by the senate in 2014.
ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie says the cuts to the FTB will cost low-income families and single mothers up to $3000 a year, and improper payment indexation has already hurt vulnerable families.
“There are over 600 000 children living below the poverty line and children in single parent households are in poverty at over twice the rate of children living with two parents,” said Dr Goldie.
“The proposed changes will also hurt low income couple households, including those without paid work.”
23-year-old mother, Naomi Spurway thinks that government support for young families should not be subject to budget cuts.
“Young families should not be subject to these cuts, we need the support, and we need the help, especially single mums or fathers,” Ms Spurway said.
“There are so many families out there – especially young parents – that are struggling with income. They need that support, and to know that everything is going to be okay. It’s a safety net.”
When announcing the legislation, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison said that FTB reforms are important for delivering taxpayers money where it is needed and will help fund the Jobs for Families Package.
“[The reforms] ensure the way we are delivering family payments in this country, support for families, is better targeted,” Treasurer Morrison said.
“The measures introduced into the house are better and fairer family payment package system, that more effectively targets family support for today’s needs.”