Wednesday, 01 June 2011

Childcare despair

Monday, 31 May 2011
BY Ami Humpage
Melton Leader
BALLAN parents have lashed out at Moorabool Council’s decision not to provide once-off emergency funding to keep outside-of-school-hour care running.

At its latest meeting the council received a petition with 632 signatures from the Ballan and District Outside School Care Action Group requesting financial assistance from government to ensure the continuation of the service until the end of this year, when further options could be explored.

Despite pleas for help, the council confirmed its position at the meeting that it does not provide, fund or regulate OSHC services and stated it had been advised such programs were the responsibility of schools and that funding from state and federal governments was unlikely.

The decision came only a week before funding to keep the program running was due to run out, but the YMCA has now agreed to extend the service until June 17.

Action group member Narelle Dove said the YMCA had agreed to keep the service running past June 17 if the group could guarantee all 50 before-school and 75 after-school places could be filled. “Right now we are only filling 25 before-school places and I don’t think we have been given enough time to recruit more families

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so I’m not sure how successful we will be,” she said.

“I don’t think the councillors understand the pressures facing working parents and the need to support that.”

Ms Dove said there was talk from some parents about leaving the shire.

“Certainly those who don’t have anyone to look after their children are talking about taking the kids outside of the shire, but we are still hopeful we may be able to keep it open temporarily.”


Maximise your claim with planning

Monday, 31 May 2011
By Peter Fairfull
The Northern Star

IN THE lead up to the end of the financial year, we often spend time sifting through old receipts to see what expenses we can claim when we should be looking deeper into our accounts and using financial strategies to ensure we are making the most of all possible deductions.

Here are some points to remember as June 30 approaches:

Everyone

Income Protection insurance policy premiums can be claimed as a personal tax deduction because people are insuring an income-producing asset – their ability to work.

Any donations over

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$2 made to legitimate charitable organisations are 100% deductible so don’t forget to claim these.

A 20% tax offset is available for each dollar of a person’s net medical expenses that exceed $1500. Broadly, net medical expenses are amounts that are above what the person can claim back through Medicare and/or their health insurance company.

Remember to declare all income and capital gains such as interest received on bank accounts, however small, and the selling of assets such as real estate, shares or managed fund investments.

People generally do not need to pay tax on an inheritance, but if they

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have reinvested that money, or are gaining an income from it, tax may apply on this income.

Further, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) may apply where assets such as shares or property are sold – however specific CGT exemptions may be available in certain circumstances.

Families

People who are eligible for Family Tax Benefit (Part A) may be eligible for an Education Tax Refund to assist with costs of education.

Up to 50% of eligible expenses such as home-internet connection, personal computer purchases, pens, texts, exercise books etc can be claimed.

The maximum refund is 50% of:

$794, for each primary school age child, and

$1588 for each secondary school age child.

Don’t forget to make sure all information with Centrelink is up to date. This will ensure you receive any benefit entitlements such as the Child Care Rebate.

The Child Care Rebate covers 50% of out-of-pocket expenses for approved childcare, up to a maximum of $7941 per child for the 2010-11 financial year.

Landlords

Many of the services which have been paid for in relation to the general maintenance and upkeep of investment properties can be claimed as a tax deduction.

This includes expenses such as lawn mowing, pool maintenance and other similar costs which you have outlaid in relation to your investment property.

Certain types of financial advice and other professional services received in relation to an investment property may also be tax deductible.

If people have insurance cover on investment properties they may be able to claim this premium

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tax deduction as well.

Self employed/sole traders

Self-employed people or sole traders can claim 100% of personal superannuation contributions.

However, care needs to be taken to ensure that these contributions do not result in that person’s contribution cap being breached as this would attract tax penalties.

Small Business

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Just as for sole traders and individuals, if businesses have had a good year and have some spare funds available, rather than keep it in a bank account, businesses are able to pre-pay certain future expenditure and claim a deduction in this year’s tax return.

As tax matters can be quite complicated, it’s a good idea to speak to your financial planner to ensure you’re paying for the tax you need to but making the most of any deductions or claims you are eligible for.


Parents to get boost in childcare rebates

Saturday, 28 May 2011
By Samantha Maiden, Political Editor
Sunday Mail (SA)

PARENTS will soon have the option of securing generous childcare rebates fortnightly instead of quarterly.

The changes

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start on from July 1, but parents have to contact Centrelink to register

They can even choose the option of having the rebate paid directly to their child care service and receive a reduction on their bills.

The Gillard Government will launch a national advertising campaign tonight urging families to register for fortnightly payments, designed to ease cost-of-living pressures on families.

If families do nothing they will continue to receive the payments quarterly.

Since the childcare rebate was increased from 30 per cent to 50 per cent when the Rudd-Gillard government was elected, families have secured an additional $700 a year to pay childcare fees.

The option of fortnightly payments allows parents to receive the payments faster, rather than waiting three months.

The childcare rebate, which is not means tested, pays eligible working families up to $7500 a child and pays 50 per cent of out-of-pocket childcare costs.

For a family with two children in accredited childcare, it can deliver up to $15,000 a year.

Child Care Minister Kate Ellis said the increase to a 50 per cent rebate meant about $518 million in additional assistance was provided to families using childcare each year.

“As a result of our commitment to helping Australians with the cost of care, the average family income being spent on child care has almost halved since 2004, dropping from 13 per cent to just 7 per cent in 2010 for families with one child in care and earning $75,000 per year,” she said.

“From July, 2011, Australian families will be able to choose to have their child care rebate payments made fortnightly and in some cases weekly, in addition to the current options of annual or quarterly payments.

“Families will also be able to choose to have their Child Care Rebate paid directly to their child care service and receive a reduction on their bills or continue to receive the Rebate as a direct payment.”

SA parents are securing

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Childcare on wheels picks up speed

Friday, 25 March 2011
By Tash Impey
ABC

Childcare on wheels doesn”t sound like the safe and stable environment one envisages to look after their children while earning their keep. But for regional towns in the South East there is no alternative option. Luckily it”s not as bumpy as it may sound.

Demand for childcare in fast-growing rural and regional areas in South East South Australia has skyrocketed in the past decade and the cries for a budget reform have so far failed to deliver necessary funds.

Small beachside towns Robe and Beachport along with Kangaroo Inn have so far survived on a mobile childcare service adopted from interstate in 1998.

CCOWS (ChildCare On Wheels Service) has operated out of the Robe District Council Chambers since it was established thirteen years ago as the only viable childcare option in the region which has been funded primarily by the Federal Government.

Director of Children”s Services and Manager of CCOWS Robyn Paterson said the funding received has not matched the expenditure and fears that over the next few years they will have difficulty sustaining their level of service.


Historical Independent Consultant Articles

Article Title Article Provider Date

Australian Industry Newsletter – 10 February 2012
Australian Industry Newsletter – 16 January 2012
Australian Industry Newsletter – 4 November 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 31 August 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 24 August 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 04 August 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 29 June 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – Tuesday, 15 June 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 08 June 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 01 June 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 30 March 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 23 March 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 16 March 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 23 February 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 16 February 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 09 February 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 26 January 2011
Australian Industry Newsletter – 10 November 2010
Australian Industry Newsletter – 03 November 2010
Australian Industry Newsletter – 27 October 2010

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