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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Omnibus Bill compromise to find further savings from family payments

The Government and Opposition have agreed on amendments to secure passage of the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 that includes a new Family Tax Benefit (FTB) savings measure. The measure would see families with adjusted taxable income of $80,000 or more per year ineligible to receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB-A) supplement from 1 July 2016. Read more...

Immigration: We can choose our skills, but we can't choose our family

Whilst boat arrivals, asylum seekers, skilled permanent and temporary programs and even students have kept immigration featured in our politics and newspapers, family migration receives little share of public debate. This is intriguing as family migration is a bigger part of permanent migration than official planning levels would lead us to believe. Migration Program planning levels fluctuate according to the political, social and economic imperatives of the government of the day. In the mid-1970s, the planned annual intake reached a low of 50,000 places and gradually climbed to the 1988 peak of 145,000 and then reduced to 80,000 by 1993. As can be seen ... Read more...

The plasma myth: how parents of newborns spend their money

The Australian Government has announced that it intends to reduce the amount of Baby Bonus payable in respect of second or subsequent children from 1 July 2013. This is expected to result in savings of around $170 million per year ($504.9 million over the forward estimates).According to the Government, this change recognises that costs associated with second or subsequent newborns are not as great as those associated with the first.This post takes a look at what is known about the impact of newborns on household budgets, focusing in particular on any significant changes in spending on second or subsequent children. Notably, the available evidence suggests that there is no significant increas... Read more...

Sibling rivalry: Baby Bonus and Paid Parental Leave

The Government has announced as part of the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) that it will reduce the Baby Bonus to $5000 and freeze indexation of the payment for three years. Currently, the Baby Bonus is $5437 and indexed in line with changes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on 1 July each year. The decision has been criticised by some as discriminating against 'stay at home' mothers because the Government did not also take savings from the Paid Parental Leave scheme. This post attempts to clarify the issues involved by briefly looking at the relationship between Baby Bonus and Paid Parental Leave.Baby Bonus in its original form was introduced by the Howard Government in 2002. I... Read more...

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