FTB: how party policies affect income support

CSMCFederal Politics

Family Tax Benefit (FTB) is made up of two parts (A) & (B)

• FTB A is a means-tested payment for families with dependent children between the ages of 0 and 19, worth a maximum of $234 per child per fortnight, depending on income and the child’s age.
• FTB B is a means-tested payment for single-parent families and families with one income of $100,000 a year or less, worth a maximum of $153 per family a fortnight, depending on the age of the youngest child and the income of any secondary income earner in the family.

Changes

• From 1 July 2016, FTB B will be scrapped for couples when their youngest child turns 13. Single parents and grandparent carers will continue to get this payment until their youngest child turns 18. The legislation has passed the Parliament effective 1st July 2016.

FTB Party Promises

• The Coalition has promised to increase the maximum rate payment by $10 a fortnight on FTB A if Parliament passes legislation to scrap FTB-B.
• Labor, The Greens and most Independent Senators oppose this change with the Government only receiving support from Senator Bob Day and Senator David Leyonhjelm .
• The Coalition aims to gradually phase out these supplements by 2018, arguing they are no longer needed.
• Labor opposes the plan to scrap the supplements and will instead reduce the FTB-A supplement by 50 per cent for families earning more than $100 000 per year, and will maintain the freeze on thresholds until 2020.

Parenting Payment Single or Newstart?

• At this stage, the major parties do not have any policies which support reversing the removal of PPS.
• The Greens equity policy clearly states that they will reverse cuts to parenting payment single and increase Newstart by $57 per week (which would be the first increase of in 21 years).
• Labour have released a policy ‘tackling inequality identifying the need for an adequate safety net but no firm details on what this would mean.