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




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Byron serial groper targeting women on morning walks

A number of woman have reported indecent assault along a walking track in Byron Bay.

Police launch investigation after reports of women being assaulted

Lismore hospital paid parking: Rangers will be ready

Lismore Base Hospital

Council rangers will use discretion when it comes to issuing fines

Plant wholesaler celebrates end of 12-year development

Alpine Nurseries owners Peter and Kay Knox at the official opening of their Alstonville business.

Alpine Nurseries in Alstonville hold an offical opening ceremony.

Latest deals and offers

Coastal development keeps young people on Northern Rivers

Wes Bale is a 27-year-old born and bred Lennox Head local who is an example of the demographic shift in the region.

Young Northern Rivers residents are looking closer to home

We’ve found 8 rentals available on the Northern Rivers

2/22 Sunnybank Drive, Ballina

It's obvious there is a rental shortage on the Northern Rivers