Boosting family assistance and child care places
Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A
In 2006‑07 the Government will spend $28 billion in assistance to families with children, up from $14 billion in 1996‑97. Over this period, the Government has increased the maximum rate of assistance per child by 75 per cent from about $2,420 in 1996 to more than $4,200 in 2006 under FTB Part A.
From 1 July 2006, more families will receive the maximum rate — they will now be able to earn $40,000 a year (up from $33,361 in 2005‑06) without having their entitlement reduced.
This measure will provide increases in FTB Part A of up to $9.62 a week for about half a million families annually, delivering over $993 million in additional payments over four years.
The Government will also extend eligibility for the Large Family Supplement of $248 a year to families with three children with effect from 1 July 2006. This will cost $497 million over four years.
Child care places
The Government recognises that accessible, affordable and high quality child care is vital for many families to participate effectively in the workforce.
To improve the supply of child care, from 1 July 2006 the Government is removing the cap on the number of outside school hours care and family day care places, at a cost of $60 million over four years. It is estimated an additional 25,000 places will be created by this initiative. Overall, child care places are expected to increase to more than 700,000 by 2009, compared to 307,000 in 1996.
The Child Support Scheme (CSS)
The CSS is being reformed to better meet the needs of children. The Child Support Agency's service capacity is also being upgraded. The total cost of these reforms is $877 million.
15 2006‑07 Budget Overview