SOME families will be worse off under the Government's proposed Schoolkids Bonus which promises an annual payment of $410 (for primary students) and $820 (for high school kids).
Those who spend more than $820 on their primary school child's education or more than $1640 on their high school child would be better off under the existing Education Tax Refund which gives parents 50% of costs back through the tax system.
Maclean mother Nicole Franklin-Hentscher, who worked out yesterday she claimed half of the $2100 she spent on claimable education items this year, described the policy change as a kick in the teeth and "the last nail in Julia Gillard's coffin".
Nicole's daughter Indiana attends St James Primary School, Yamba, and while her school fees were not claimable, tuition fees, uniforms, books, internet and other resources were.
"Julia Gillard has lied to us and given us a mining tax that wasn't meant to be there and a carbon tax that wasn't meant to be there, why not kick us a little more," she said.
She said parents who could prove they were spending the money on education were being penalised and this new handout method removed that incentive.
Others, including South Grafton mum Amy Morgan, welcomed the news.
"This seems to be great considering how much cost goes into uniforms each year and by doing it twice a year helps parents with summer and winter uniforms," she said.
Ms Gillard said the ETR had not been working as families were forgetting to keep receipts or could not find the cash to buy necessary equipment in the first place.
About 1.3m families will benefit from the bonus which will be introduced in parliament next week.
Sources in Canberra said the Schoolkids Bonus would be paid for out of the 2011/12 budget alongside the ETR.
Parents who were spending the money on education were being penalised.
Terry Deefholts has taken responsibility for an error in reporting above. The Education Tax Refund can be claimed for 50% of specific education costs and is capped to a maximum of $794 for primary kids and $1588 for high school kids. The article above suggests that larger amounts be claimed therefore parents would be worse off under the new Schoolkids Bonus - this is incorrect. The Examiner apologises oversight.
Furthern information: http://www.educationtaxrefund.gov.au