Statement from the Department of Social Services

Statement from the Department of Social Services

The following may be attributed to a Department of Social Services spokesperson:

As children get older, most parents can increase their level of employment and reduce their need to rely on income support. For this reason, single parents who claim income support after their youngest child has turned eight will usually receive Newstart Allowance, subject to them meeting the relevant eligibility requirements. To assist Parenting Payment Single recipients transition to Newstart Allowance, they are required to participate in activities that will help them find work when their youngest child turns six.

Single principal carer parents transferring from Parenting Payment to Newstart Allowance are paid at the higher ‘with child’ rate of Newstart Allowance and benefit from a single income test taper rate of 40 cents in the dollar.

This allows single principal carer parents on Newstart Allowance to keep more of their payment each fortnight, providing families with greater financial security. They also continue to have access to the existing range of benefits, including childcare fee assistance and family assistance payments to assist with the cost of raising children.

It is important to note that over 99 per cent of Newstart Allowance recipients receive more than just the base rate of Newstart. For example, a Newstart recipient’s rate may include the Energy Supplement, Rent Assistance for those in the private rental market, and Family Tax Benefit for those raising children.

Family Tax Benefit is designed to help Australian families with the costs of raising children. Family Tax Benefit consists of two parts — Part A and Part B. Family Tax Benefit is paid in addition to an individual’s rate for income support.