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Tampon tax out, ATM fees in: rules and regulations that kick in on January 1


Wealthier women will benefit most from the change: the Bureau of Statistics found the top fifth of Australian households spend more than double what the lowest fifth spend on sanitary products.

In 2015, former treasurer Joe Hockey promised to stop the tampon tax but was vetoed by then prime minister Tony Abbott.

“We have to broaden the tax base, not start carving out politically correct exceptions,” Mr Abbott said.

Student welfare payments ABSTUDY and Youth Allowance will be boosted in the new year, in measures worth $92 million over the forward estimates.

Coinciding with its 50th anniversary, high school welfare payment ABSTUDY will be touched up: families of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students will receive more travel support, and 1900 students living away from home will have their ABSTUDY payments increase by over $5000 annually.

Illustration: Matt Golding

Illustration: Matt Golding

The number of regional students tapping into Youth Allowance will increase, as the parental income cut-off reaches as high as $190,000.

Some students may need to watch out for changes to HECS assistance: a new cap means that students will be limited to paying a maximum of roughly nine years of tertiary study with interest-free government loans.

In a non-government change, NAB will re-introduce ATM fees at over 3000 machines around the country from January 1.

Customers will pay $2 per transaction for any ATM in the RediATM network, after a decade-long deal between NAB and RediATM operators Cuscal was abandoned.

In 2017, the four big banks removed ATM fees, a $500 million annual cost for Australians. The move came as ATM withdrawal fell to their lowest levels in 15 years, with electronic payments soaring for small consumer purchases.

Ahead of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, a new sector watchdog will begin operation at the start of 2019.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, a merging of two previous watchdogs, will employ dozens of compliance officers as part of its $75 million-a-year budget.

The commission was announced as part of a $5 billion aged care budget boost.

    Max is a trainee for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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