Dental funding will make parents smile

THOUSANDS of Tasmanian children with bad teeth will be the biggest beneficiaries of two federal government programs focused on children starting in the new year.

A new schools funding system begins in 2014 and will pump hundreds of millions into schools and their more than three million students around the country.

The federal government has pledged an extra $2.8 billion in total over the next four years, although the individual state allocations are still being finalised.

From January 1, a $4.1billion dental benefits scheme is aimed at improving the oral health of children aged two to 18 years and adults on low incomes. The scheme is to run for six years.

Parents will be able to access Medicare payments capped at $1000 over two years for a wider range of specific services, from basic dental check-ups and cleaning through to emergency care.

Previously, eligible people could get money back from the government to help pay for only a single dental check- up each year.

The new package will cover 3.4 million children and one million adults.

About 2000 of Tasmania's unemployed are also set to benefit from the federal Coalition Government's Apple Isle jobs program, after it was brought forward by six months to Wednesday.

Businesses in Tasmania, which suffer from high unemployment and little economic growth, will be in line for one- off payments of $3250 if they hire a job seeker for at least six months' full-time work.

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