You’ll need to update your browser so you can continue to log on to your online banking from 28th February. Update now.


Budget 2014: What it means for your family

Families will be facing a number of changes to both entitlements and hip-pocket expenses as a consequence of the 2014 Federal Budget. Here’s what you need to know.

Before the Budget

The Federal Government operates a two-part payment system designed to help with the cost of raising children.

Family Tax Benefit A is paid to families on a per-child basis. The amount you receive increases as your children get older, but decreases as family income rises. If you have two children under 13 then this currently cuts out at a family income of around $112,000.

Family Tax Benefit B is designed to give additional help to families that primarily rely on one main income. This is currently provided to families in which the primary earner has an adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less per year and the family’s secondary income is below a certain level ($26,390 per year if your youngest child is under the age of five).  

Changes under the 2014 Budget

Family Tax Benefit A

The Budget announced a new allowance of $750 per annum for each child aged between six and 12 for low income single parents as eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part B is tightened.

Family Tax Benefit B

The Government has elected to keep Family Tax Benefit B but has set a new threshold. The new income limit for accessing this benefit will be $100,000 for the primary income earner. Once the primary income earner goes above this threshold, the family will no longer be able to access the payment.  
In addition, the Family Tax Benefit B will no longer be available when a family’s youngest child turns six and is at school.

Families will also be impacted by the introduction of a $7 co-contribution when visiting the GP. Children under 16 years or concession card holders will be exempt from the fee after 10 visits in one year. Hospitals will also be allowed to charge people going to hospital emergency departments for situations that only require a visit to the GP.

Medicines will also become more expensive with patients paying an additional $5 in pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) co-payments.

Currently Paid Parental Leave provides assistance equivalent to the minimum wage, which is $622.10 per week, to the primary carer of a newborn child for a maximum of 18 weeks. The payment is means tested.

The existing scheme will be expanded from 2015 to provide 26 weeks of pay at the primary carer’s replacement wage – including superannuation. The existing means test on the payment will be removed but wage replacement will be capped at an income of $100,000 per year for a maximum payment of $50,000, rather than the $150,000 per year income level that was stated prior to last year’s election. 

Families are also likely to feel increases in the petrol excise – which will be indexed to inflation twice a year and could add approximately one cent a litre to the pump price each year in addition to the other factors which influence the cost of fuel.  

Important information: This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.