Family tax benefit could help with car insurance

A “budget balancing” mother has spoken out in favour of prime minister Julia Gillard’s election pledge to increase family support for 16 to 18-year-olds to a maximum of $208 a fortnight.

Maddy Rath, whose son, Sam, turned 16 last year, told the Sydney Morning Herald that times have been tighter this year than they were in 2009. She currently claims a family tax benefit for her children, which decreases from $208 to $51 when a child turns 16.

“Have you seen how much it costs to feed a teenage boy aged 16? Not to mention that they need a hand with car insurance, you need to buy school uniforms … school fees crop up, groceries are pricey,” Ms Rath told the newspaper.

She added that she uses some of the current tax benefit to pay for her sons’ school fees, uniforms, shopping and car registration and insurance.

The PM’s announcement may interest other Aussie parents looking to compare car insurance on behalf of their kids. Ms Gillard has said that if elected, the new benefits would come into effect on January 1, 2012 and would aim to encourage teenagers to stay at school rather than leave early if their family couldn’t support them.

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