Tuesday, May 19

Little Difference #14


Little Difference #14 - Family Allowance

All EU countries give families a monthly allowance. This is how Luxembourg's works: The amount is based on the age and number of children in the family. The amount increases when a child reaches 6 and then again at 12. The allowance is given until a child reaches 18 years of age or age 27 if in University. To qualify for the allowance children must have their legal residence in Luxembourg. Expats must show their residency permit prove legal residence. You can get an idea of the amount given each month here. Money is paid to families at the end of each month.

In addition, Luxembourg's boni pour enfants program gives each child service vouchers to be used for daycare, preschool or after/before school care. This just went into effect in March 2009. It is a combination between a tax benefit and part of the family allowance.

There is also an education benefit, a parental leave benefit, a start-of-the-school-year benefit and a pregnancy benefit.

This whole concept is totally foreign to me as there is really nothing comparable to it in the U.S. We have Head Start for children at risk and other financial support for disadvantaged families, but nothing for all children regardless of their parents' income. The U.S. does have tax breaks for children (which Luxembourg has as well.)

What about Austrailia, Japan, China and the South American Countries? Does anyone know?

For further reading:
Clearing House Countries

European Foundation
National Family and Parenting Institute

11 comments:

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

have I told you before how much I love these posts of yours? So interesting. I don't remember Japan having anything like this, but I could be wrong. It's amazing to me that it also applies to expats.

This Girl loves to Talk said...

yep !! I get Family Allowance it is called here in Australia... you also get assistance for child care (though child care is still expensive)

we dont get it until a child is 27 though!!! We get it until the child is around 16 years of age

it is this money that allows me to be a stay at home mum. Yes we do not have much money.. but as we have 3 kids.. almost 4 I receive a fair amount of Family Allowance.

this is one of the benefits of paying High tax... we probably get more back than we pay :)

This Girl loves to Talk said...

oh because of declining birth rate.. we also get paid $5000 for each baby we have here :)

jojoebi said...

In Japan the child gets ¥10,000 ($100) a month until they are three and then it goes down to ¥5000/mth. This is for the first 2 kids the third kid gets more. I think they get it until they are 18.
We also get ¥300,000 to help pay for pregnancy and childbirth, which if you have a natural birth in a run of the mill hospital you will probably break even. One friend actually made a profit for 2 of her kids births. A natural birth is not considered a medical condition so is not covered on your health care insurance.

PS - my mate saw my quilt and now she wants to make one, see what you have started!

Mee a Bee said...

The money that jojoebi was talking about is income assessed. we are somehow over the limit even though I feel like we never have any money. we did get a little bonus from the government recently as a spending incentive to invigorate the economy - a couple of hundred per child. (I'm in Japan).

I think New Zealand gives support to families with children.

billybojenny said...

We get family allowance here in Canada too! I count on it being a SAHM... its my "paycheck" ;)

tricia said...

we have family allowance in Canada

Annabel, Mikko, Marcelle and Eric said...

We also got child allowance in Sweden... I'm originally from Canada, and thought our child benefits were the best, but after being in Sweden, I think they've got it a wee bit better than we! You get about 1100SEK (110Euro) per child and you get great maternity leave benefits even if you haven't worked, which I thought was pretty amazing too! They also guarantee a spot in daycare within 3 months should you request it, but I prefer keeping my little ones at home with me...

I too love your blog!!! Thank you for keeping it updated and interesting!

Victoria said...

Wonderful post! Why oh why can't the United States follow some of these countries examples? It's not like they would have to reinvent the wheel. I'd gladly pay higher taxes if I knew that those taxes would be spent on constructive things such as good health care, family and educational benefits for all.

Bree said...

The Australian family allowance cuts out at quite a low income, but the Child Care benefit that I receive is quite good. You get a percentage off your fees depending on your income, then at the end of each quarter you get back 50% of any out of pocket fees you've paid. That little kick is quite good - like compulsory savings.

Road Trippers said...

This is all so fascinating. I'm getting the vibe that you're never going to come home...

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