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Tax cuts welcomed

Tuesday, 1st July, 2008

Families are set to benefit from a range of budget measures that will come into effect today.

A typical young family with two small children will be about $50 a week better off through income tax cuts, childcare and education rebates.

Local mother Storm Carney said it would be a welcome relief for working parents.

"I think so, because for some women it's a case of having to go back to work, not wanting to."

Ms Carney works at Wardle Co and her partner Wes McNamara is a plasterer at Lehman Brothers. Her son Jett Daddow (10) is in year five at Morgan Street Public School and daughter Halle McNamara (3) is a regular at Family Day Care.

Ms Carney said that the tax cuts and rebates would help many families struggling with the rising cost of living.

A major slice of the benefit comes from the $46.7 billion tax package, aimed at low to middle income earners.

Workers on $50,000 a year will have $20 a week returned to them.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan said the tax cuts would help to ease cost of living pressures.

"These tax cuts will mean every taxpayer will have a little more money in the pay packet every week to help meet rising costs of living," they said.

The childcare tax rebate of 50 per cent, capped at $7500 a year, kicks in today.

Parents of primary and secondary students will be eligible for rebates of up to $750 a year for education expenses such as computers.

Teenagers will receive a $150 voucher for an annual dental check up.

Family groups have welcomed the budget focus but say savings have already been eroded by the cost of living.

"The budget measures are welcome news for a very large number of Australian families particularly those who are struggling to make ends meet," CEO of Families Australia Brian Babington told AAP.

"The concern would be that rising fuel prices, increased mortgage rates and grocery prices, are going to erode those gains."

The government's "typical family" also excluded many doing it tough, he said, such as single parents, carers of children with disabilities and grandparents providing primary care.

"Government policy needs to be very finely tuned to the needs of all groups and make sure policy responses are not broad brushed. The government needs to be more alert to the need of struggling families what ever the definition may be."

Other changes taking effect include an increase in the baby bonus to $5,000 and changes in the way child support is calculated.

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