New Year brings New Financial Support for Families

The seasonal cheer will continue into the New Year for many Central Victorian families when the Gillard Government’s new Schoolkids Bonus and Dad and Partner Pay Scheme start on 1 January.

Lisa Chesters, Federal Labor Candidate for Bendigo, said the new Schoolkids Bonus will give eligible families $410 a year for each child in primary school, and $820 a year for each child in high school.

“We understand that the start of the new school year can be difficult for families with kids in school. With new uniforms, textbooks and school excursions to pay for, the costs can pile up pretty quickly.”

“That’s why the Gillard Government is helping local parents to make ends meet with the first instalment of the Schoolkids Bonus hitting their bank accounts in January, well in time for the start of the new term.”

Ms Chesters said the Schoolkids Bonus will replace the Education Tax Refund from 1 January and will be available to families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A, plus some young people receiving some other income support and veterans’ payment recipients.

Ms Chesters is also encouraging new and expecting parents throughout Central Victoria to apply for Dad and Partner Pay.

“Dad and Partner Pay gives eligible dads and same-sex partners two weeks paid leave at the national minimum wage, which is currently about $606 a week,” she said.

“This extra support will give new dads greater financial security to take some time off work when their new baby is born.”

To be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay, dads or partners must;
• Have worked at least 330 hours in 10 of the 13 months before the start of their Dad and Partner Pay period (just over one day a week), with no more than an eight-week gap between two consecutive working days;
• Have earned $150,000 or less in the previous financial year; and
• Be on unpaid leave or not working and be helping care for the child during their two weeks of Dad and Partner Pay.

Ms Chesters said Dad and Partner Pay extended the Gillard Government’s historic Paid Parental Leave scheme, which has been supporting Central Victorian families since January 2011.

“For a lot of low paid, casual and part-time workers throughout the region, this is the first 
time they have had access to parental leave when a new baby is born.”

More information on Dad and Partner Pay is available from: www.australia.gov.au/dadandpartnerpayand on the Schoolkids Bonus from: www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/schoolkids-bonus