Helping Hand to Assist Families with the Cost of Teenagers

ACOSS congratulates the Government on its announcement today to increase family payments to support low-income families with the costs of raising teenage children.

A Gillard Government would increase the maximum payment of Family Tax Benefit A by $150 per fortnight for 16-18 year olds who are at school or in vocational training.

“Families on low incomes rely heavily on family payments to pay for the essentials – food, clothes, school books and housing expenses,” said Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service.

“Teenagers from families on low incomes are at high risk of leaving education and training if their families are unable to give them financial support.

“Any parent who has raised a teenager knows how the costs can add up. Our research shows a 16-year-old costs $200-$290 a week. Yet when a child turns 16, payments drop to $102 per week.

“ACOSS has long-advocated for a boost to help families with the higher cost of older children, and we welcome the Government’s announcement which is estimated to help 650,000 teenagers over the next five years.

“We also call on Government to include families with teenagers on Youth Allowance living at home in this announcement so that no teenager misses out.

“ACOSS calls on all political parties to make election commitments that support people on low incomes and that ensure that no Australian is excluded because of social or economic disadvantage.”

Read our short guide on understanding family payments here. ACOSS also submitted a paper to the Henry tax review outlining options for reforming family payments to better protect low income families : click to read: How much does it cost to raise a teenager? Family payments don’t add up.

 Media Contact: Clare Cameron, ACOSS – 0419 626 155