Local families to lose thousands of dollars

An Abbott Liberal government could cut more than $15,000 from the household budgets of a typical family in the northern suburbs, Senator for Western Australia, Louise Pratt, said today.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey revealed this week that the Liberals would axe the Gillard Government’s Schoolkids Bonus, which provides vital support to 16,700* local 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, 23 October 2012)

“The Liberals are yet again showing their true colours, which this time means less support to help local families with the costs of putting their kids through school,” Senator Pratt said.

“Without the Schoolkids Bonus, a typical family in the northern suburbs putting two kids through school would lose more than $15,000 over the course of their kids’ education.

“I just can’t understand why Tony Abbott doesn’t think families in Perth’s northern suburbs who are raising kids can make ends meet while he takes thousands of dollars out of their pockets.”

Under the Schoolkids Bonus, every local family on 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.

Senator Pratt said the Liberals’ promise to rob 16,700 local families of the Schoolkids Bonus comes on top of their other promise to rip away the family payments increases and tax cuts that local people are receiving under the Government’s Household Assistance Package.

“We understand that raising a family isn’t cheap, especially as the kids get older. That’s why we’re delivering more support than ever before to help local families with cost of living pressures.

“Tony Abbott’s answer is to rip thousands of dollars out of household budgets and make it harder for local families to get by. Families in the northern suburbs aren’t going to forget that.”

The Gillard Government’s support for families in the northern suburbs includes:

  • Increased family payments for 21,300 families;
  • The new Schoolkids Bonus for 17,600 local families;
  • Paid Parental Leave for 2,900 local families;
  • Increased payments for 7,200 local families over the next five years if their teenage child stays in school or training; and
  • Tax cuts for 110,000 local workers.

Media contact: Senator Pratt’s office 0417 175 200

* Figures for Cowan and Moore federal electorates