Support for families welcomed

A FEDERAL Government pledge to increase support for families with teenagers has been given the thumbs up by Batemans Bay’s Salvation Army worship and lifestyle centre.

The Federal Government announced that if re-elected, it will increase the maximum payment rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A by more than $150 per fortnight for teenagers aged 16 to 18 years who are in school or an equivalent vocational qualification.

The Government says that this could see parents receiving up to an extra $4000 a year per teenager, including an estimated 1640 families in Eden-Monaro.

“Naturally, we would welcome greater financial support for families with children in this age group,” Batemans Bay Salvation Army Corps Officer Captain Emma Johnson said.

“We recognise that it becomes increasingly difficult for parents to provide for their children’s needs as activities, equipment and even clothing can often become more expensive as they get older.

“This is one of the reasons we currently run sporting and other social programs that are heavily subsidised for people who are unable to meet those extra costs.”

Malua Bay father-of-three John Hulme, whose children are 18, 14 and two, agrees that the pledge is much-needed.

“Absolutely,” he said.

“It is very important to try to keep the family unit together, and to have the support to do it. You see a lot of young people leaving home early and breaking up the family unit due to economic reasons, and it is not good to have this forced upon you.”

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