Youth allowance changes to give rural and regional families greater choice

The Coalition Government will remove the Family Asset Test and Family Actual Means Test from the Youth Allowance Parental Income Test. This 2015-16 Budget measure ensures the assessment of a young person’s access to Youth Allowance will be based on a fairer measure of family income than the current system, Mr Tehan said.

Removing the Family Asset Test will allow families with dependent children in Wannon to qualify for Youth Allowance for the first time and access average annual payments of more than $7,000 a year.

The removal of the Family Actual Means Test will also see more families with dependent children receive Youth Allowance for the first time and increase payments for some existing students in Wannon by approximately $2,000 a year.

The changes exempt farming families in Wannon from having their farm assets count toward the Family Asset Test for assessing Youth Allowance.

From 1 July 2016 we will also be changing Youth Allowance parental income testing arrangements to include all Family Tax Benefit children in the family pool. The current test only includes dependent children over 16. Counting all the children in the family pool for whom the parents have financial responsibility will reduce sudden drops as children move from FTB to Youth Allowance and will soften reductions in Youth Allowance as a family’s income increases.

This will see:

Some working families in Wannon with dependent children in both the Family Tax Benefit and youth payment systems eligible for an average increase in payment of $43 per fortnight ($1,118 per annum).

Some Wannon families who currently miss out on youth payments due to higher taper rates will be eligible for an average payment of around $50 per fortnight ($1,300 per annum).

Simplifying the parental means tests will provide additional assistance for working families in Wannon to support their children making the transition from school to further study.

These changes are great news for Wannon families, boosting the number of families we assist, the level of that assistance, encouraging more young people into study to build their careers, develop economic opportunities, and contribute to our economy, Mr Tehan said.

Media contact: Cate Mercer-Grant 03 5572 1100 or 0408 564 232