Families left out of school bonus

COSTLY TIME Rebecca Saunders will receive the new Schoolkids Bonus to help offset the cost of sending her children Shontai, Shakira and Jacob to school.
COSTLY TIME Rebecca Saunders will receive the new Schoolkids Bonus to help offset the cost of sending her children Shontai, Shakira and Jacob to school. Kerri Burns-Taylor

ALTHOUGH all parents of school-aged children are forced to cough up hundreds of dollars for school expenses each year, only some will reap the benefits of a new cash bonus.

The Federal Government last week announced it was axing the Education Tax Rebate and replacing it with a Schoolkids Bonus.

The cash payment, worth $410 for each primary student and $820 for each high school student, will be paid directly into the bank account of those parents who receive Centrelink's Family Tax Benefit A.

It is designed to help families cope with the costs of schooling.

Those parents who receive no support from Centrelink will not be eligible.

Warwick mum of three Rebecca Saunders will benefit from the new scheme and said she couldn't understand why other families were excluded.

"Everyone should be entitled to it because it costs the same for everyone to send their kids to school. Why should working parents miss out?" she said.

Mrs Saunders said she believed setting an income limit to the payment was encouraging welfare dependency.

"I think it's teaching these young people to stay at home and have more kids instead of getting a job," she said.

Despite her concerns, Mrs Saunders said the fact she was no longer required to prove her expenses was a welcome change.

"I think it's great. I have never claimed the rebate in the past because I have never kept my receipts," she said.

As part of the transition to the new Schoolkids Bonus, the Education Tax Refund for 2011-12 will be paid out in full to all eligible families as a lump sum payment in June.


Who gets it

The payment will be paid to families of school kids who receive Family Tax Benefit A and other approved income support payments.

Topics:  bonus cash family school

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