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Author: Mike Phillips

What impact will the Federal Budget have on young families?

As the budget was announced last night in Canberra, you could almost hear small business owners across the country cheering with glee. What you wouldn’t have heard was the same level of appreciation coming from the thousands of households across the country containing young families and future parents.

Changes to Child Care

The government lived up to the leaked promise to overhaul the current child care rebate system and introduce a single means-tested Child Care Subsidy. Because the new child care subsidy will be closely aligned with working hours, many stay at home parents will no longer be able to access subsidised child care. The exception to this rule is families with combined incomes of less than $65,000, who can still access up to 24 hours of subsidised care a week without meeting the work activity test.

No more 'double-dipping'

Announced before the budget speech, the Treasurer confirmed last night that parents who receive paid parental leave from their employer will no longer also be eligible for the government-provided paid parental leave scheme (equivalent to 18 weeks pay at minimum wage, or $11,500).

Parents will still be able to access any difference between their employer’s benefits and the government benefit, however, that’s it.

It must be said that due to these changes, stay at home parents and expectant families are the big losers from this year’s budget. Having said that, there are ways that young families can do all they can to ensure their financial security going forward.

  • Set your budget and stick to it. The Greater has put together an easy to use Guide to Budgeting, and our handy, free Budgeting Tool lets you keep tabs of your spending.
  • Start an emergency savings fund. As you start a family, the odds of the unexpected happening drastically shorten. Be prepared by building your back-up savings. We can show you how in four easy steps.
  • Bank smarter and get the right account. When every dollar counts, there is no room for complacency. We’ve put together some simple hints and tips to help you keep more money in your back pocket.

No housing relief

For young families looking to buy their first home, or relocate to find more space, the budget provided little relief as expected. No measures were included in the budget to make housing more affordable for first home buyers, however, foreign investors will face stricter penalties if caught breaking the rules investing in residential real estate.

Despite the apparent lack of assistance for home buyers, it’s important to remember that interest rates remain at historic lows. And with a little help from The Greater, getting the keys to your new home becomes that much more achievable.

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