Lismore mother Nicole Lazzaroni, with youngest child Lachlan, 2, is concerned about losing the back-to-school allowance.
Lismore mother Nicole Lazzaroni, with youngest child Lachlan, 2, is concerned about losing the back-to-school allowance. Cathy Adams

Another blow for families as allowance axed

LISMORE mother of three Nicole Lazzaroni has been hit twice by this month’s mini-Budget, with Premier Nathan Rees axing the $50 back-to-school allowance.

The $60 million program, which helped 1.1 million students, has been axed, along with the student transport subsidy.

The cuts are part of the New South Wales Government’s mini-Budget, to be revealed on November 11, which aims to improve State finances.

Ms Lazzaroni said the $50 allowance for each child had helped buy shoes, books and uniforms for her son, 11, and seven-year-old daughter.

“The cost of school necessities is expensive so the $50 really does go a long way,” she said.

Ms Lazzaroni, who also has a two-year-old son, said axing the student travel subsidies and the school allowance put too much pressure on parents.

“This is our children and their education,” she said. “The Government shouldn’t be making sacrifices on their behalf.”

Treasurer Eric Roozendaal said the Government would use the mini-Budget to reform the School Student Transport Scheme, which costs about $470 million a year, as well as funnel some of the money from the $50 allowance program into needy schools and special needs programs.

Reports yesterday said axing the $50 handout, which was introduced by former premier Bob Carr in 1998, would help turn around a $656 million NSW deficit and would take effect immediately.


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