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The Australian Multiple Birth Association urges government not to cut funding.

A change.org petition has been launched by the Australian Multiple Birth Association to put pressure on the government not to cut the Multiple Birth Allowance in the next budget.

Since the petition launched two days ago, it has gathered over 1,300 signatures and a great deal of support from the multiple births community.

The Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA) supports families across Australia with twins, triplets, quadruplets and more. While all of these births are termed ‘multiple births’, triplets or more are referred to as ‘higher order multiples’, to reflect the significant minority of families with these types of births. Less than 1.5% of multiple births are higher order multiples.

Less than 1.5% of multiple births are higher order multiples (triplets or more). Image via iStock.

At present, eligible higher order multiples families receive an allowance from the government. AMBA reports that this much-needed allowance has a "maximum amount of $3,920.10 per year for families with triplets or $5,219.50 per year for families with quadruplets or more."

AMBA are concerned that the allowance will be removed in the next budget, following a recent government recommendation that it should be removed.

However, there are important reasons to maintain the current financial support for higher order multiples families.

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“If a child costs $250,000 to raise in a family as a singleton until adult age, the costs are magnified when three or more children are born at the same time,” explains Erin Sinclair, AMBA's Communications Director. “There are no hand-me-downs, and children can be actively disadvantaged over schooling options, attendance at after-school activities and camps," she said.

Supporters of the change.org petition strongly agree with Sinclair's argument.

"You cannot spread the costs like you do with three children born years apart." Image via iStock.

Neil Ward wrote that when raising higher order multiples, "you cannot spread the costs like you do with three children born years apart. This funding is essential to help families cope."

Carrie Kenning commented, "to remove this payment would plunge families further into financial trouble in an economic state we cannot afford. It would also cause more stress in higher order multiples relationships that are struggling already under the financial strain."

Michelle Robins shared, "the cost of raising children when you can't hand down items is phenomenal and vastly under-appreciated. This payment keeps food on our table for our family. Please do not cut this payment."

You can sign the petition here

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