The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister
The Gillard Government today announced that 1.3 million Australian families with children at school will get a new cash payment to help make ends meet.
Each year, families will receive a new Schoolkids Bonus worth:
This new guaranteed payment will help the families of 2.2 million school kids pay for uniforms, books, school excursions, stationery, and other costs like music lessons and sports registration fees.
Because the payment is automatic and upfront, it means:
The payment will replace the Education Tax Refund from 1 January 2013. Under the existing system, 1 million families aren’t claiming what they’re entitled to – either claiming less than the full amount, or claiming nothing at all. That’s 80% of eligible families.
Replacing the old system with this new payment means one million families will receive more cash – a typical family will get more than $720 extra each year.1
We understand that low and middle income families are finding it tough to make ends meet. This new payment will give parents help to balance the family budget. It provides financial support upfront, which means they’ll have money when they need it most.
Just like the Education Tax Refund, the Schoolkids Bonus will be available to families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A plus young people in school receiving Youth Allowance and some other income support and veterans’ payments.
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.
This means families will receive their full Education Tax Refund entitlement ahead of tax time – so parents won’t have to worry about keeping receipts or making claims when they do their tax this year.
The Gillard Government is delivering a surplus with targeted and responsible savings while staying true to the things we have always stood for like helping low and middle income families to make ends meet.
The new School-kids Bonus will cost around $400 million extra each year on top of the $830 million already allocated annually for the Education Tax Refund.
Legislation to enable these changes will be introduced into Parliament this week.
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