THE Abbott Coalition Government’s repeal of the Schoolkids Bonus will leave over 10,000 low and middle income central Victorian families struggling to meet the needs of their school expenses.
Treasurer Joe Hockey on Wednesday introduced legislation to repeal the Schoolkids Bonus, which gave eligible families $410 for each child in primary school and $820 for each child in high school once a year to use for school expenses.
More than 10,000 central Victorian families received the lump payment at the start of this year.
Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, said the Federal Government’s repeal of the Schoolkids Bonus was a savage cut to Bendigo families.
“This will hit struggling families hard,” she said.
“Bendigo families that are already doing it tough will find it very difficult to find the extra money for the many things they need for their children’s education.
“It means their children risk missing out on all the things they need to do well at school.
“In a recent meeting in Bendigo of central Victorian welfare agencies, they discussed the need to start stockpiling schools, uniforms and the other essentials just in case the new Government proceeded with repealing the bonus.
Scrapping the Schoolkids Bonus means the average Bendigo family with two kids will be $1,230 worse off every year and $15,000 worse off over the life of their child’s education.
Ms Chesters said it was a mean start to the Coalition Government’s tenure. Further, its attachment to the Mining Rent Resource Repeal Tax Bill was a sneaky attempt to hide the scrapping of this bonus from public scrutiny.
“This is a savage cut from a Government that is showing very early on it clearly doesn’t care about Bendigo families or our kids’ education,” she said.