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News: Families hit by Budget; allergy week; brain damage hope; trackpants for TLC

The Federal Budget and parentsIt has been a big week in the world of parenting and families this week with the Federal Government’s budget being released on Tuesday night.

But exactly how will the budget affect you and your family? And, in other news, what can you do to help raise awareness of food allergies in children? And why are you being asked to wear your tracky-dacks to work or school this month? Plus what simple and affordable product can reduce brain damage in infants? Read on to find out more …

Families hit by cuts in Federal Budget

Families will pay more for petrol and doctors’ visits under the new Federal Budget released last night, but won’t be receiving any boosts in Family Allowance to cover the new costs.

In fact, under the Budget, some families will no longer receive Family Tax B (which is paid mostly to sole income families) and all will see rates frozen for two years.

Families and the budget in brief:

  • Family Tax B’s eligibility threshold will be reduced from $150,000 to $100,000 from July 1, 2015
  • Family Tax B will no longer be paid to families once their youngest child turns six (reduced from 16).
  • Low-income single parents will continue to receive assistance with a new supplement of $750 a year for each child aged between 6 and 12.
  • Family Tax Benefit A end-of-year supplement will be reduced to $600 (from $726.35).
  • Family Tax Benefit B end-of-year supplement will be reduced to $300 (from $354.05).
  • Tax Benefit A’s maximum income threshold is capped at $94,316 (from $150,000).
  • The new Paid Parental Leave scheme –  to come into affect on July 1, 2015, has been reduced from a $150,000 income threshold cap to $100,000.
  • Changes to payments will not come into affect until July 2015 but rates will be frozen until then.
  • School Kids Bonus scrapped
  • Only families with four or more children will be eligible for the big families supplement worth $313.90 for each child.
  • Petrol prices will jump as the twice annual indexation of fuel excise will be introduced from August 1.
  • You’ll have to pay a $7 fee each time you visit the doctor, get an x-ray or MRI etc. Concession card holders and children under 16 only have to pay for the first 10 visits a year.
  • Prescription medicine will cost an extra $5 (or 80c for concession card holders).

Show you care this Food Allergy Awareness Week

Australia has one of the highest reported incidences of food allergies in the world, and the numbers are growing – one in 10 babies born in Australia today will develop a food allergy.

Show you care this Food Allergy Awareness Week by painting one of your fingernails to represent that one-in-ten children with an allergy.

You can also donate, hold a fundraiser, adopt an allergy or raise awareness through your social media channels. For more info visit

Jet lag skin patch could prevent infant brain damage

A simple and afforable jet lag skin patch has been shown to reduce brain damage caused by low oxygen at birth.

Monash University PhD student James Aridas and his colleagues at MIMR-PHI Institute’s Ritchie Centre have found that melatonin patches, used to treat jetlag, can reduce damaging free radicals and subsequent brain cell death when they are administered in the hours after birth asphyxia has occurred.

About 300 Australian babies develop disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders after birth asphyxia each year.

Aridas and supervisors Dr Suzie Miller and Professor Graham Jenkin undertook preclinical studies in animals with help from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and will begin clinical trials of the patches in India next year.

“The low oxygen itself does cause brain damage, but it is really in the hours following that the brain damage occurs,” he says. “There is therefore an important window of time after birth when our treatment can potentially reduce permanent brain injury.”

Wear your track pants to work or school to raise funds for TLC for kids

Put your tracky-dacks on to help raise funds and awareness of the need for emergency support for kids in hospitals – the kind of support that can’t go on a waiting list.

Tracky Dack Day is the major fundraiser for TLC For Kids – Australia’s only emergency response support of distressed children in hospital.

Host your own Tracky Dack Day fundraiser and collect a gold coin donation from everyone who participates. Register or donate at

Image credit: ssuaphoto/123RF Stock Photo

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