If re-elected on March 25, the NSW Liberal Government have committed to launch what they describe as the most significant financial security investment in the NSW history.
Every child on the South Coast and across the state aged 10 and under in 2023 – and continuing each year with every newborn child – will be eligible for a ‘Kids Future Fund account’, which will receive a $400 starting payment from the state government, with matched payments of up to $400 per year until the child is 18.
Once a child turns 18, they will be able to withdraw from their fund – which could be worth north of $26,000 – for only two reasons – housing and education.
Liberal Candidate for Bega, Russell Fitzpatrick told East Coast Radio it will change lives.
“The Kids Future Fund is a game-changer,” Fitzpatrick said.
“It’s a great outcome for every child not only on the South Coast but across New South Wales, to give them a chance to secure a financial head start with the Kids Future Fund.”
However sitting member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland, told East Coast Radio the fund won’t help struggling families.
“The Kid Future Fund just shows that this NSW Government doesn’t understand the real problems facing families,” Dr Holland said.
“They don’t know the crisis of cost of living that’s going on at the moment, there’s council rate rises, energy bills up 26 per cent in six months, people are facing interest rate rises and rental and housing price rises,” he continued.
“It’s an inequitable scheme that won’t help those that need the most help.
“It won’t fix the health and education systems which have gone down over the past 12 years and it doesn’t increase wages for essential workers.”
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the landmark initiative is the first of its kind in Australia and said it will help provide financial security to an entire generation.
“This investment will change the lives of millions of children in NSW forever,” Mr Perrottet said.
“It will give generations to come the financial foundation for their entire life,” he continued.
“By making small investments over time, we will be able to grow the wealth of our children so they can secure their financial future through education and housing.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Paul Toole, said the NSW Government recognised parents and carers worked hard to do their best by their kids and set them up for the future.
“This is a way for families and Government to work together to invest in the next generation – from their first steps to their first home and first career,” Mr Toole said.
“As a Government, we’re not just tackling cost of living pressures now, we’re creating better opportunities for tomorrow.”
Treasurer Matt Kean said the Kids Future Fund was an investment in the dreams and aspirations of the children of the State.
“We know that long term financial security starts by saving early and letting compound interest work its magic,” Mr Kean said.
“It shouldn’t matter who your parents are or where you live – every child across NSW should have the financial security to pursue their own ambitions, contribute to their community and build a better life for themselves and their loved ones.
The Kids Future Fund:
· Each fund will receive an initial $400 contribution provided by the Government when it is created.
· Each year, the child’s parents will be able to contribute up to $1,000 per year to the fund. The Government will match these contributions up to $400 per year until the child turns 18.
· If parents make a contribution of $400 each year, alongside the Government’s co-contribution, the fund is expected to be around $28,500 by the time the child turns 18.
· If parents contribute the maximum amount of $1,000 per year, the fund is expected to be around $49,000.
· For families receiving Commonwealth Family Tax Benefit A, the Government will automatically contribute $200 a year to the child’s account without requiring a matched contribution from parents.
· If the parents also contribute $200 each year, the Government will match this with an additional $200.
· Contributions can be made to the fund after the child turns 18, however the Government will not provide any further matched contributions.
· When the child turns 18 they will be able to draw down on the fund for only two purposes:
-Housing – e.g. a contribution towards purchasing a residential property
-Education – e.g. textbooks and other learning materials, laptops, private tuition fees, micro-credentials, tools required for getting a qualification
· The fund will be open for children aged up to 10 years old (in the 2023 calendar year). From 2024, new accounts will only be created for newborns.
· There are around 974,000 babies and children aged up to 10 years old in NSW in 2023.
· There are around 100,000 babies born in NSW each year.
Image: Dominic Perrottet, Moruya Mail