Labor to oppose family tax benefit cuts

Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters

Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters

FEDERAL member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters has confirmed Labor will oppose the federal government's budget plans to freeze family tax benefits.

There were signals yesterday that Labor would support a freeze on annual family tax benefit increases.

But Ms Chesters and opposition spokeswoman for families Jenny Macklin said this morning that the cuts were an attack on the standard of living for families on low and middle incomes.

"We will oppose the freeze on the family tax benefits rates and on pensions," Ms Chesters said.

"Labor rejects these cuts because the cost of living goes up every year, so benefit payments and wages should also go up every year."

The government also wants to cut family tax benefit B payments when a family's youngest child turns six, down from the age of 16.

Ms Chesters said budget cuts and tax increases meant a family on a single income of $65,000 with two children aged 8 and 14 would lose more than $6,000 a year by 2016.

"That covers a lot of families in Bendigo and central Victoria," she said.

Ms Chesters said families could also lose their school children bonus through the budget.

Families with a primary school child currently receive $410 each year and families with a secondary school child receive $820 for school-related costs.

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