This budget measure will amend indexation arrangements for the Maternity Immunisation Allowance, bringing it into line with the indexation arrangements for other family payments such as Family Tax Benefit and Baby Bonus.
Maternity Immunisation Allowance will be indexed for movements in the Consumer Price Index once a year on 1 July, instead of twice a year (in March and September).
Maternity Immunisation Allowance is a non-means tested payment to encourage parents to have their children fully vaccinated, where appropriate. The full payment of Maternity Immunisation Allowance is currently $245.50.
From 1 January 2009, Maternity Immunisation Allowance is generally paid as two separate amounts of $122.75 to eligible families, when children are fully immunised between 18-24 months of age and between four and five years of age, before starting school.
Maternity Immunisation Allowance is also payable for children adopted outside Australia who arrive in Australia before the age of 16 years and who are immunised to an appropriate level by their fifth birthday or within two years of their arrival, whichever is later.
In 2007-08, Maternity Immunisation Allowance was paid to 260,000 families for 265,000 children at a cost of approximately $60 million. In 2009-10, it is expected that 276,500 families will receive the payment.
The first annual indexation of Maternity Immunisation Allowance will occur on 1 July 2010. Indexation will be applied on 1 July each year thereafter.
Total Government Funding
This measure will reduce government expenditure by $2.5 million over