Schoolkids Bonus – Interviewer: Warren Moore, Program: 2GB Drive
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WARREN MOORE: Parents who have children at primary and secondary schools will start to receive the Government’s kids bonus, the school kids bonus from tomorrow. Parents of primary school children they’ll receive up to $409 per child, up to $818 per child for each secondary school child, and it’s the latest political manoeuvre designed to cushion the impact of the carbon tax. Will it make the right sort of impact for parents. Joining us now is the Families Minister, Jenny Macklin. Thanks for your time Minister.
JENNY MACKLIN: Thank you Warren.
WARREN MOORE: Well this is going to be ongoing but this particular payment at this time of year is a one off?
JENNY MACKLIN: If I can just correct the way you described it. First of all it’s not up to $409 for each child in primary school. Each child where the parent has the children on Family Tax Benefit A will in fact receive $409 or $818 for each child in high school, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the carbon price. So we’re replacing the Education Tax Refund which has been in operation for a few years because under that Education Tax arrangement parents weren’t getting the full value of that refund. We want families to get the money. We don’t want them to miss out.
WARREN MOORE: So this is, the onus has changed as well, hasn’t it? So you don’t have to apply in your tax refund for this?
JENNY MACKLIN: That’s right.
WARREN MOORE: You’re getting it off the bat anyway?
JENNY MACKLIN: We think that’s been one of the problems of the past is that parents had to keep their receipts which obviously the parents are very busy running around doing things for their kids, they don’t necessarily want to have to have that job to keep receipts. And also then of course wait until they claim the money at tax time. So they won’t have to do any of that anymore. If they’ve got a child at primary or secondary school and they’re on Family Tax Benefit Part A, so low and middle income families they’ll be eligible the money will just go into their bank account.
WARREN MOORE: Okay, well in that case it is obviously dependent on being on Family Tax Benefit A?
JENNY MACKLIN: Yes it is. Yep.
WARREN MOORE: Yep. And when we talk about that figure how did you come up with the $409 for now and the $818?
JENNY MACKLIN: It’s essentially what people have been entitled to in the past that weren’t claiming the full value of it, so it’s really just a continuation of what we wanted people to get. But because of the difficulties of having to keep your receipts and claim it back which people weren’t doing, we’re really just making sure it’s easier for people to get and they’ll get it straight into their bank accounts. The other point I should make is this is being paid now to really finish up the Education Tax Refund but once the payment is regular it will start at the beginning of Term 1 and the beginning of Term 3.
WARREN MOORE: Well that’s a good move isn’t it? It makes more sense I suppose for it to fit in with the school year not a financial year?
JENNY MACKLIN: That’s exactly right. And as I’m sure your listeners know it’s those costs at the start of the year when you need new uniforms, new shoes, but we wanted to break it up and give some money in the middle of the year. There’ll be excursion costs, different costs that parents have through the year.
WARREN MOORE: Okay thanks so much for your time, much appreciated.
JENNY MACKLIN: No problem.