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Centrelink's New Round Of Cuts Could See You Losing $1000s

Families relying on Centrelink payments could see cuts worth thousands of dollars this year, with family tax benefits, parental leave pay, childcare assistance and schoolkids bonus on the chopping block. 

As of January 1, the Schoolkids Bonus - which, until now, saw families with a household income of under $100,000 receive bi-annual payments for each child in their care - is out; according to news.com.au, that could see more than six million Australian households affected, with a family of two children set to lose up to $1,712 this year.

While childcare costs are set to rise by an estimated five per cent in 2017, the Centrelink rebate remains capped at $7,500 per family, meaning that parents are looking at less of a helping hand when it comes to childcare.

Added to that, Parental Leave Pay will now count as income - which will directly affect other payments, such as Family Tax Benefits, or see them disappear completely. 

These new parameters, which affect babies born after October 1, 2016, will affect households with total incomes of less than $150,000.

Speaking of Family Tax Benefits, they're under the microscope, too; while most Australian families are eligible for even a small FTB Part A payment, the new rules mean that household incomes of more than $80,000 per annum are set to lose their Part A supplement of up to $726 per child. 

Unfortunately, there's even more. Income caps are frozen until 2020, which could see a lot of working families have their payments reduced, if not lost entirely, over the next four years, and fringe benefits, such as a car, mobile phone or help with housing costs, will now be counted as income by Centrelink.

And payments to anyone applying for the Single Income Supplement (an annual $300 payment to households with one main income earner) after July 1, 2017, will be denied, as will applicants for the Energy supplement after March this year.

All in all, not a great start to the year; will you be affected by the new changes?

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