With thousands of students now waiting for their HSC results good news has come early with the Federal Government able to enact changes to the Youth Allowance.With thousands of students now waiting for their HSC results good news has come early with the Federal Government able to enact changes to the Youth Allowance.
The changes are designed to make it easier for rural and remote students to undertake tertiary education.
From the beginning of next year the Family Actual Means Test and Family Asset Test will be removed from the Youth Allowance Personal Test
An income test will still apply, but all dependent children will be taken into consideration in that assessment, which the Government says will “soften reductions in Youth Allowance” as family income increases.
For farming families these changes are a major break through as their farms may be a valuable asset but their incomes, especially during periods of drought or low commodity prices, do not allow them to support children once they complete high school.
Students from regional, rural and remote areas often have to leave home to undertake tertiary studies. This adds to the cost of their education.
The changes will mean thousands more people qualify for an average annual youth payment of more than $7000 per year.
The government estimates more than 1200 families from regional and remote areas will benefit from the changes
Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter said the changes would make youth payments fairer and simpler.
“This is a win for families who are supporting children who are studying or training,” Mr Porter said.
“Removing the assets test will allow thousands more people to qualify for an average annual youth payment of more than $7,000 a year,” Mr Porter said.
“Thousand more students will benefit from the removal of the means test – they will either receive Youth Allowance for the first time or, if they’re already receiving it, receive $2000 more each year
“Regional and rural families often face higher costs when their children are studying or training because they have to move away from home. These changes mean those families will no longer have their farm assets counted toward the means test.
“From July 2016, the parental income test will also include all children under 16 in the family.
“As a result, 13,700 families with dependent children will receive an increase of about $1118 per year, and about 5,800 families will for the first time become eligible for a payment of about $1300 per year.
“Child support payments will also be removed from the parental income test, meaning 3800 families will enjoy an extra $900 a year.”
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