News

Family welcomes students bonus

Larisa Barnes and Colin Cussel, with their children Emanuella and Shoshana Cussel-Barnes, say the student bonus from Tuesday’s budget is a good move.
Larisa Barnes and Colin Cussel, with their children Emanuella and Shoshana Cussel-Barnes, say the student bonus from Tuesday’s budget is a good move. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

FATHER-of-five Colin Cussel and his wife Larisa Barnes plan to buy a new computer for their five-year-old daughter Shoshana with the schoolkids bonus announced in the Federal Budget.

The bonus will be a paperwork-free payment that will give 1.3 million Australian families assistance with education costs.

Most families will receive $410 for primary school children and $820 for high school students. It replaces the education tax refund that required families to collect receipts.

Mr Cussel said he would have claimed the tax refund anyway because he was vigilant in keeping education spending receipts.

But the new system would make claiming the money much easier.

After raising three adult children, for the first time in a decade Mr Cussel is again contending with the considerable costs of education now that he has a child in kinder- garten and another two-year-old in day care.

He is paying more than $2000 a year for private school fees plus day care costs and additional expenses for sport and after-school activities. The self-employed osteopath said it meant his family had to make spending cutbacks.

"It adds up but it's not too bad," he said. "For us it was easier because the home loan had been paid off..

"We live a modest life and budget carefully and I'm not trying to increase my income so I can spend more.

"I'm more about quality of life not quantity of money."

He said overall he was pleased with the Federal Budget as it delivered a surplus and returned money to families.

The bonus payment was the topic of hot debate yesterday after the Coalition indicated it would oppose it in the Parliament.

Despite that, the payment passed the Lower House with the support of independents Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott, Andrew Wilkie and Bob Katter, as well as Greens MP Adam Bandt.

The bonus payment still has to get through the Sen- ate, but will do that easily with Greens support.

Page MP Janelle Saffin said about 2700 families in her electorate were missing out on their full refund each year under the former tax deduction system.

Topics:  families, federal budget, schoolkids bonus



HORROR CRASH: Two die in hospital, one still critical

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked to a crash at Woodenbong last night. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

The unregistered car that rolled had no seats and no seat belts

WATCH: Three metre great white shark in knee-deep water

A THREE metre great white shark filmed swimming close to shore at Seven Mile beach

Lennox Head surfers films great white thrashing 10 metres from shore

This week's markets list

The Lismore Car Boot Markets. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star

Where to get your local fresh produce and coffee from

Local Partners

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Ten things to do this week

CLASSIC: A finals heat from the 1985 Byron bay Malibu Club Classic
Photo Contributed

Surf, music, comedy and plenty of cabaret

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities