The budget has families stuck in a kerfuffle, with the full range of setbacks slowly becoming clear.
If you have children it seems you will be hit from all sides. With family day care costs rising and government benefits falling, parents are expected to feel the weight of the budget as much as anyone. Cutbacks to the health and education sectors will further the struggle for any parent.
The following cuts will hit families hardest:
- $80 billion will be ripped out of schools and hospital funding
- The Gonski school funding plan will be dumped in 2017-18
- No more school kids bonus
- A “patient contribution” fee will see GP visits costing $7 per visit
- Additional $5 fee on top of scripts
- Family day care costs expected to rise
If you send your child to family day care, be prepared to pay around $2,000 a year more in fees. Eligibility for the Community Support Program will be tightened, with small family day cares expected to increase their fees. This will bounce back on parents, as the effect of rising costs will end with consumers. An estimated rise of about $35 a week is expected for a child in full-time family day care. About 80,000 families send their children to family day care.
Hidden expenses are making themselves known as the budget is examined in closer detail. If you’re a low income family with a reliance on government benefits, a 10 per cent loss of income is probable. An unemployed single parent with a child between the ages of six and 12 will be hit particularly hard, losing $60 per week — a staggering 12 per cent of their disposable income.
It seems the government has left families to work this out for themselves, as the “detailed family outcomes table” introduced by Peter Costello in past budgets was not included in this year’s outline. The table is regularly used to summarise the affects the budget will have on different types of families across various demographics. When asked why this information was not included this year, a spokesperson for Joe Hockey told the Sydney Morning Herald that the government had been transparent about the changes in the documents that accompanied the budget papers.
Are you a parent? What are your thoughts on this year’s budget? Let us know below.