Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Joe Hockey’s promise to hurt families

The Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has revealed an Abbott Liberal Government will cut more than $15,000 from the household budgets of a two child family.

On Lateline last night, Mr Hockey again vowed to cut the new Schoolkids Bonus, which provides vital support to 1.3 million Australian families every year with kids in school:

So we’ve also previously said … we’re going to abolish the Schoolkids Bonus.

… [It] is on the record that we’re not going to proceed with the Schoolkids Bonus.

(Joe Hockey, Lateline, 22 October 2012)

The Gillard Government is delivering the Schoolkids Bonus to help families with the costs of getting their kids to school. Every family receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A will receive $410 a year for kids in primary school and $820 a year for kids in secondary school – to help pay for things like stationery, books, uniforms and school excursions.

Axing the Schoolkids Bonus will mean a typical family with two kids in school will lose more than $15,000 to help pay for their kids’ education over the course of their schooling.

In contrast, the maximum impact on a two child family from yesterday’s changes to the Baby Bonus is $2,000, and many families will not be affected at all due to the Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme.

The Liberals’ promise to rob 1.3 million families of the Schoolkids Bonus comes on top of Joe Hockey’s other promise to rip away the family payment increases and tax cuts the Government is delivering to millions of families and workers as part of our Household Assistance Package.

The Gillard Government understands that the cost of raising children can be expensive. That’s why we are delivering more support than ever before to help families with school costs and everyday expenses – with the Schoolkids Bonus, Paid Parental Leave, tax cuts and increased family payments, particularly for families with teenagers in school.

We also know that we need make sure our family payments system sustainable for the long-term. Behind closed doors, the Opposition recognise that too – that’s why they repeatedly vote for the Government’s responsible savings measures despite their public chest-beating.