PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 21981

Private Trusts for People with Disabilities

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/10/2005

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 21981

Today at the launch of Carers Week 2005 I am pleased to announce a $200 million package which will make it easier for parents of people with severe disabilities to establish private trusts for the future care of their children.

From September 2006, parents or other immediate family members of a person with a severe disability will be able to establish a private trust worth up to $500,000 for the future care of that person without being affected by social security income tests and gifting rules.

That means that income from the trust will not affect the person's Disability Support Pension. Gifts to the trust from the parents or immediate family members will not affect the donor's Age Pension or Department of Veterans' Affairs Service Pension. The $500,000 limit will be increased annually in line with the Consumer Price Index.

The capacity to establish such trusts will greatly improve families' peace of mind about the future care of their children with severe disabilities, particularly as parents get older.

Information packages will be developed to assist parents in establishing these trusts. Direct assistance in the form of counselling and mediation services will be available for families who may be at risk of conflict through the process of establishing such a trust.

I congratulate the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator the Hon Kay Patterson, and the Minister for Ageing, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, for helping to develop this package. Senator Patterson will establish an expert advisory group, including financial and disability experts, to advise on the implementation of the package.

The carers of people with disabilities and older Australians provide an invaluable, and often unheralded, role in our society. The Australian Government continues to look for ways to assist carers in this important role.

Transcript 21981