When my first child was born in 2009, Hubby and I had just moved from another town where we were working back into our home and closer to family. As I had just had a baby, I chose to stay at home with Hubby returning to work a few weeks after Noah’s birth.
With no Maternity Leave, the loss of my income was greatly felt. Suddenly we went from keeping our heads above water with both of our wages, to bobbing just below the surface. Without the governments Baby Bonus, we would certainly have drowned.
According to abc.net.au the Australian Government is dumping the $5000 Baby Bonus in the 2013 budget and replacing it with a $2000 payment that will be bundled with the Family Tax Benefit, as of the 1st of March, 2014. Initially it was introduced to increase the birth rate in Australia, but according to Nick Parr from Macquarie University ‘ (the Baby Bonus) possibly it had no effect whatsoever’.
Instead of the Baby Bonus, the government has moved to increase Family Tax Benefit A payments for eligible families with $2000 for the first child and an additional $1000 for subsequent children, if they are not using the governments Paid Parental scheme. According to Yahoo7 Finance, working mothers with children born close together will have an easier time qualifying for the Paid Parental scheme as parents will be able to count time on the government’s Parental Leave as work, under the work tests.
I know that as a new Mum, the last thing I wanted to worry about was money and the current Baby Bonus eased that stress for me. It makes me wonder what impact the government’s savings will have on families. They may not be paying as much in Baby Bonus, but may end up forking out for Child Care as mothers are forced to return to work earlier than expected.
Read about the Finnish governments baby box that has been around since the 1930’s
How does this new Budget affect your family?