Giving families more support

Over 33,000 Australian families will be better off after more generous youth payment means testing measures passed Parliament today.

Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Christian Porter MP said the changes will make youth payments fairer and simpler.

“This is a win for families who are supporting children who are studying or training,” Mr Porter said.

From January 1 2016, the Family Assets Test and the Family Actual Means Test will be removed from the Youth Allowance Personal Test.

“Removing the assets test will allow thousands more people to qualify for an average annual youth payment of more than $7,000 a year,” Mr Porter said.

“Thousand more students will benefit from the removal of the means test – they will either receive Youth Allowance for the first time or, if they’re already receiving it, receive $2,000 more each year

“Regional and rural families often face higher costs when their children are studying or training because they have to move away from home. These changes mean those families will no longer have their farm assets counted toward the means test.

“From July 2016, the parental income test will also include all children under 16 in the family.

“As a result, 13,700 families with dependent children will receive an increase of about $1,118 per year, and about 5,800 families will for the first time become eligible for a payment of about $1,300 per year.

“Child support payments will also be removed from the parental income test, meaning 3,800 families will enjoy an extra $900 a year.

“These changes are great news for families and students. We want to encourage them to study and train toward the career of their choice so they can contribute to our economy.”

The changes under the Social Services Legislation Amendment (More Generous Means Testing for Youth Payments) Bill 2015 will apply to certain families with dependent children receiving youth payments including Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, and Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme.