Parents sigh in relief at survival of bonus

THE budget guillotine hovered above it, but the Schoolkids Bonus has survived - much to the relief of the region's mums and dads.

This week the Federal Government announced the payments, which consist of an annual payment of $410 for each primary student and $820 for each secondary student, would stay in place until December 2016.

The money is paid to caregivers in two instalments - the first just before the new school year resumes and the second around the end of the financial year.

The payments were due to be repealed following the latest Federal Budget, but will now stay for those with a family income up to $100,000.

Parents yesterday took to the Warwick Daily News Facebook page to share their relief.

"Thank goodness. My eldest starts high school next year and this not only means higher text book and stationery costs but a whole new uniform," Megan Benz said.

"This news is a weight off because it gets harder and harder every year with not only school costs increasing but really everything."

Fellow Facebooker Marie Look said the payments were a welcome boost in her household.

"The Schoolkids Bonus is a perfect amount to get the kids school books, shoes and uniforms and school fees - happy chappy here," she said.

There has been some controversy surrounding how the payments are spent by some, with concerns the money was spent on luxury items instead of school supplies.

However, Southern Downs parents say they are doing the right thing.

"A lot of parents may keep the money for themselves, but I definitely use it for kids," Rhiannon Hardwick said.

"The price of having two in school at the end of the year for the next year's books and stuff is tough. And there are people out there worse off than me.

"It helps a lot and my kids are forever going through shoes and clothes.

"I am grateful that we get to keep it for another two years."

Tasha Maree said school expenses were getting "ridiculous".

"I used mine at the beginning of the year for books, levy and uniform and the tax lot I used for new shoes new winter uniforms a new back pack," she said.

"What was left got my daughter a haircut and went to groceries.

"I am glad they didn't cut it, school is a lot more expensive now than when I was in school.

"My girl is constantly coming home with notes needing money for something like art councils book club class trips fundraisers - It's getting ridiculous."

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