having a baby - using child care - family support - going to school - age pension - seniors entitlements - aged care
We help Australians understand how complex rules affect their financial situation at important life stages because we all deserve the right information to make the big decisions.
The focus is you
Complex government rules impact the financial outcome of many important family decisions - like having a baby and using childcare. These rules are also very important for older Australians reaching pension age or needing aged care.
These rules seem inaccessible, because there are so many of them, and they are complex.
Meanwhile, the way the rules impact Australians is often only worked out after important decisions have been made.
Would you buy anything else without knowing the price?
For most Australians, household budget decisions are based on a careful look at where money goes, and where money comes from.
Up until now, Australians have been making decisions without all the information.
The information is out there - in fact, the information is written as law and can be found in complex legislation, tables and formulas.
Surely technology can be used to solve this complexity? We think so.
Governments tweak the system, a family's child-care needs change, an Australian reaches pension age or requires aged care help.
All these changes mean a new type of need for Australians to have the right information to make their budget decisions.
They need the tools to work out how they fit into the system right now, and how things will look in the future. Once a politician reveals a change, you should have the tools to work out how things will change for you, not the government budget.
1000 Australians become eligible for the Age Pension every week
The Centrelink Age Pension will account for nearly $45 Billion dollars in the 2015/6 budget and is the single largest federal government spending programme.
Not just an income support payment, eligibility for the pension results in access to a further 23 other supplements and concessions, as well as access to another 26 programs not specifically for age pensioners.
In 2011, there were 2.25 million recipients of the age pension, and the over 65 group is the fastest growing segment of the population.
Eligibility for the age pension is based on a complex series of tests to assets, income and other factors, and is being subject to high scrutiny by a government under fiscal pressure.
For an Australian turning 65 this is almost impossible to plan for. We want to change this.
At least 60% of families with dependent children get a government transfer
Nearly $18 billion dollars will go to family tax benefit payments in 2015-16.
In the most recent ABS publication, the 1.64 million families represent 5.37 million Australian children.
The Family Tax Benefit comes with a complex eligibility criteria that is subject to ongoing change in government budgets.
Not only do families struggle to understand eligibility in order to make plans, but the government is busy changing the rules.
As with other entitlements, eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part A (and B), offer eligibility for other schemes from other government agencies - for example, a different safety net under Medicare.
Complex rules dictate just how much money makes it to the family budget. Families cannot make plans with confidence.
We are going to fix this.
Many Australians don't get the child care support they are entitled to.
In fact, in 2011, the minister responsible went so far as to announce that more than 100 000 families were not applying for child care help, and to suggest they come forward and do so.
With more than 17 government mandated variables, and a long series of calculations, working out eligibility (and whether it is worth facing all the forms) is a challenge.
Meanwhile, a complex test, known as the Work Study and Training test is confusing at best.
About 300 000 babies are born each year, and a vast number of these children will participate in registered child care in its many forms - which includes long day care, after school care and family day care.
With 54% of their revenue coming from government payment, you would think providers would work harder to help families work this all out. They are not helping.
We want to help care providers run better businesses, and help families plan with confidence.
Why would you buy something without knowing the price?
Have you ever been to the doctor, and not really been so sure of just how much the appointment will cost, even though you know you are entitled to Medicare support?
Have you looked into child care or aged care and only got half the story on how much it will cost when taking into account things like the child care rebate and means tested fees?
You wouldn't buy anything else without knowing the price. Why should medical services, child care and aged care be different?
With our technology, the real cost will be known easily and quickly.
How do we help?
We take complex legislation and rules and build applications to help Australians understand how the rules affect them.
The rules themselves are not that hard. It is just that there are so many of them, and the rules that affect Australians are to be found in many different places.
We bring the rules together.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE THESE RULES TO AUSTRALIANS?
Transfer payments to Australians make up nearly 40% of the Government budget. More than 60% of Australian families receive some kind of support. 80% of Australians over 65 receive an age pension.
Not only are so many Australians part of this system, there are key industry participants that are largely funded via this support.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE THESE RULES TO BUSINESS?
There is a huge care industry in Australia that is largely funded by government support.
The government covers 54% of the cost of child care - yet no child care providers offer any help to their customers in working out just how much child care is going to cost them.
For aged care the government funds more than 70% of the cost, yet the rules are so complex that providers are unable to offer any help whatsoever to families making some financially significant and complex decisions.
Families are making decisions that have a huge financial impact, yet in most cases, this impact is not understood until after the decisions get made, and incredibly, nobody is trying harder to help.
who else really cares?
We believe that a new approach to placing the power of information in the hands of every Australian will lead to better decision making. And we believe that this knowledge will prove indispensable once harnessed.
We want to bring a personalised demonstration of the rules as they are. We want to bring a clear understanding of the rules to the family table, where the true impact can be clarified and accounted for where it really counts.
With no need for experts who may be more interested in selling than informing, and no need to sit for hours in Centrelink offices or on the phone, Australians will be truly empowered, and there will be no going back.
We've started work already
Innovate NSW helped us build a calculator to help people understand government child care support.
It's only a small part of the puzzle for Australian families - but it shows we can build a rule set, and there is plenty more that can be done.
It's not just about the rules
It's not just about collecting rules.
It's also about keeping rules up to date and keeping rules organised in a way that our experts can easily update and change.
We have the architecture to translate subject matter expertise to clarification for our end users.
Further, as we aggregate rules covering different agency experiences in Australia we improve the scope of the service we can provide for single data sets of our consumers.
We don't think it is good enough that Australians only understand their interaction with a complex tax and transfer system when looking in the rear view mirror.
SCALABLE AND ROBUST
With an information architecture based in the cloud, we have no capacity restraints, and with a robust and proven technology partner our systems are solid.
With so many rules affecting Australians based on family composition, income, need and location, we have the architecture to capture complexity and deliver simplicity to Australians.
An essential service
Australian financial services companies and member based organisations are less and less differentiated as online access and comparison can reduce a service to essential elements.
We believe that a solution to this complexity will be the key to differentiation in an increasingly challenging market.