Baby bonus test creates confusion

The vast majority of families will remain eligible for the new means test for the federal government's baby bonus that will come into force on January 1. The Rudd government has introduced a combined income limit of $150,000 for the $5,000 bonus which is paid after the birth of a child. Many couples are confused by the changes and there are concerns that some pregnant women have sought to have their births induced before the changes are introduced in order to ensure their eligibility for the payment. The minister for human services, Jenny Macklin, says there has been a lot of misinformation about the baby bonus. The means test will be calculated using the income earned by the parents in the six months after the birth (or adoption) of the child, when most families suffer from a drop in income. The bonus will now be paid in 13 fortnightly instalments of about $385, with the time limit for claiming increasing from 26 to 52 weeks. A spokeswoman for Ms Macklin said about 94 per cent of families would still qualify for the bonus.

Source: The Australian

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