Standing up for Canberra

Schoolkids Bonus to help 14,000 families in the ACT

More than 14,000 local families will soon receive a cash bonus from the Gillard Government to help meet the costs of having children in school.

From next week, eligible families will receive $409 for each child in primary school and $818 for each child in high school. The payments will hit bank accounts from 20 June.

Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh and Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann will visit local schools today to inform parents about the Schoolkids Bonus and what they will get.

“I know that with kids in school, it can be pretty tough for parents around Canberra to keep up with the long list of expenses,” said Dr Leigh.

“This automatic payment to be paid next week, will give families a bit of extra breathing space.

“All eligible families will receive the payment – which is the full amount of the Education Tax Refund for 2011-12 – without having to fill out forms or lodge receipts.”

Ms Brodtmann said that unlike the old Education Tax Refund, the new Schoolkids Bonus will be paid to families in full and up front.

“I know many Canberra families were finding it really tough waiting until tax time to claim the Education Tax Refund,” said Ms Brodtmann.

“Around 3,200 families here in the ACT were actually missing out on the full amount they were entitled to.

“By paying the Schoolkids Bonus up front, parents will have the extra cash in their pockets before the costs start piling up and without having to keep track of receipts.”

Local families receiving fortnightly Family Tax Benefit Part A payments will automatically receive the cash bonus with their usual FTB payments from next week. Families who claim their Family Tax Benefit Part A as a lump-sum at the end of the financial year, will automatically get their cash payment then.

From January next year, the Schoolkids Bonus will paid in two instalments – before the start of Term 1 and Term 3 – to help parents pay for school expenses like uniforms, text books, stationery and excursions.

The Schoolkids Bonus and Education Tax Refund cash payment will be available to local families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A plus young people in school receiving Youth Allowance, as well as some income support and veterans’ payments recipients.

Local families can find out more about the Schoolkids Bonus by calling 132 468.