PARENTS will lose help with paying for school fees, books and uniforms through the Schoolkids Bonus in 2014, if the federal government is able to push through legislation to axe it by the end of the year.
The bonus was introduced by the Labor government for the start of the 2013 school year and automatically gave each family receiving Family Tax Benefit A $410 for each primary school pupil and $820 for a high school student.
In recent days the federal government has confirmed it was committed to abolishing the bonus and was determining the timing for legislation to be implemented. However, it is understood that Centrelink employees in Tasmania have already been told the bonus would not be paid next year.
Lisa Glashower, of St Leonards, said it had been a great help for her six children - Bryle, 12, Oliver, 10, Annabelle, 9, Thoran, 7 and twins Hazel and Corah, 6, at St Leonards Primary School this year.
She said she had spent the first portion of money on summer uniforms, socks and other school related items and the second payment went just on winter uniforms as they were more expensive. "I don't understand why they might do it," Ms Glashower said yesterday.
The Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations president Jenny Eddington said she expected more schools to report unpaid fees if the bonus was axed.
"It has been a really beneficial payment for education because it means kids are going to school who are equipped and able to participate from the start," she said.
Education Minister Nick McKim said the state traditionally had a higher proportion of students with a lower socio- economic background than other states.
"It would be disappointing to see education become more expensive and harder to access, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds," he said. Mr McKim called on the Tasmanian Liberals to lobby their federal counterparts against any policies that pushed up education costs for Tasmanian families.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said during the election campaign that the bonus would be scrapped because not enough money had been generated through the mining tax.
"We won't continue the schoolkids bonus because it's a cash splash with borrowed money that our children will have to repay," he's reported to have said.