Changes promise to cut red tape on Farm Household Allowance
“SLASHING the red tape” around the Farm Household Allowance has become a new commitment for Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud, who has promised improvements to application process.
New legislation around the FHA will soon be introduced to federal parliament, and remove some complicated sections from the application – namely the business income reconciliation declaration.
Mr Littleproud said the new legislation is based on feedback from Australian farmers, and once passed, the process will become more simple.
“I don’t want farmers jumping through hoops when it’s not needed,” he said.
“We’ve taken several recommendations from a farmer-led panel to make the FHA applications more straightforward, and these changes are another step in simplifying the Farm Household Allowance.
“Business income reconciliation will no longer be necessary in the new financial year; this will prevent putting farming families in debt if they receive unexpected income.
“Case managers will also be able to extend the time farmers have to complete farm financial assessments so they don’t miss out on support in complex cases.”
Other changes include only one application being required for farming couples, and an extra year of payments for recipients being added tot he scheme.
Mr Littleproud said the new changes, as well as those made over the past 12 months will make the process more flexible, should the unexpected happen.
“These changes build on improvements we’ve made over the past 12 months, such as letting couples apply for the FHA in a single online application – telling their story once.
“Farmers making a loss can also offset their off-farm income up to $100,000 per couple.
“We’ve made FHA available for four out of 10 years, instead of a three year lifetime limit.
“We’ve also made Relief Payments for people finishing their first four years of FHA in recognition of the extended drought and unprecedented natural events.”
The Farm Household Allowance has been under review by the coalition government since 2018.