"Child care benefits will be cut as a result of the Rudd government's expanded income definition announced in this year's budget," said The Nationals' Senator Ron Boswell today, "But the Rudd government still won't tell Australians how many people will be affected and by how much."
Senator Boswell today asked a Question Without Notice of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Senator Evans, asking how many parents would receive less child care benefits from July 1 2009.
"Senator Evans, representing Minister Macklin, could not give me a straight answer. Evidence to Estimates from the Department showed that child care benefits were affected by the budget's expanded definitions of income, but the government still won't come clean on the details."
"This is despite my having asked these questions of two Estimates Committees, as well as yesterday and today in the Senate and not to mention the Shadow spokesman Mr Abbott having asked them in the other house."
"What is the government hiding?"
"When will the Rudd government tell us about all the other programs that will be subject to the expanded income test from July 09, the number of people affected in each case and how much money will be clawed back by the government from working families?"
"The range of government measures where eligibility will be reduced by the new expanded definitions of income include:-
• FAMILY TAX BENEFIT PART A , plus FAMILY HELP INCOME SUPPORT PAYMENTS (Economics Estimates 4/06/08)
• THE CHILD CARE BENEFIT (Community Affairs Estimates 3/06/08)
• THE BABY BONUS (Community Affairs Estimates 3/06/08)
• SENIOR AUSTRALIANS TAX OFFSET (Budget Paper 2 p.30)
• MEDICARE LEVY SURCHARGE (Economics Estimates 4/06/08)
• EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES RELIEF PAYMENTS and EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES INTERIM INCOME SUPPORT(Economics Estimates 4/06/08)
• DEPENDENCY TAX OFFSETS (Budget Paper 2 p.30)
• INCOME SUPPORT PAYMENTS UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT (Economics Estimates 4/06/08)
• PARENTAL INCOME TEST ON YOUTH ALLOWANCE (Economics Estimates 4/06/08)
• ABSTUDY(Economics Estimates 4/06/08)
• CHILD SUPPORT ASSISTANCE FOR ISOLATED CHILDRENS SCHEME (Economics Estimates 4/06/08)
• VETERANS AFFAIRS SUPPORT (Budget Paper 2 p.75)
• COMMONWEALTH SENIORS HEALTH CARDS (Budget Paper 2 p.30)
• DENTAL BENEFITS BILL 2008 - Annual preventative check for teenagers "
"Australians have a manifest right to know how their access to these government measures will be hurt by the expanded definitions of income used to assess their eligibility."
"It is totally unacceptable that the government has still not provided the details."