Millions of Aussie parents to be handed new $150 cash bonus – here’s what you can use the money on
Parents in NSW will get $150 per child to buy their kids school supplies, Treasurer Matt Kean has announced in the Budget.
The vouchers, called the Back to School Subsidy will cost taxpayers $193million.
Mr Kean said the vouchers would help mitigate the rising cost of living after inflation hit 5.1 per cent in the March quarter.
Parents in NSW will get $150 per child to buy their kids school supplies, Treasurer Matt Kean has announced in the Budget. Pictured: Premier Dom Perrottet
How will the voucher work?
Parents will get $150 per child to spend on uniforms, shoes, textbooks or stationery.
They will able to spend the voucher ahead of term one next year using the Service NSW app.
‘Inflation is high across the world because of global supply chain constraints and economic disruption caused by the pandemic.
‘This has been exacerbated by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.
‘We understand that rising inflation is not simply a statistic, it is something that is impacting the daily household costs of millions of Australians and reducing what they can afford,’ he said.
‘We are helping families with a back to school voucher of $150 per child to help with the costs of school supplies for term one next year.’
The move is part of $15.9 billion worth of budget commitments to early education.
The centrepiece of the budget’s education initiatives was the multi-billion dollar investment in early education, including $1.4 billion over four years to provide affordable preschool across the state.
Other measures for early learners were $281.6 million over the forward estimates to boost the number, quality and retention of early childhood educators and teachers, and $112.2 million for developmental checks in preschools.
There was also $37.9 million to boost before-and after-school care and $24.7 million to support and guide early childhood education and care service providers.
Mr Kean said the government understood that a ‘great education can propel a person up the ladder of opportunity’.
‘We know that the first five years of a child’s life can set them up for success at school and beyond. Ninety per cent of a child’s brain development occurs in these years,’ Mr Kean said in his budget speech on Tuesday.
‘The reality is that our children’s lives – and the NSW our children build – will be brighter because of the once-in-a-generation investment we decide to make today.’
The government said longer-term budget commitments in the area included up to $5 billion to set up a fund for accessible and affordable childcare, $5.8 billion to establish a universal pre-kindergarten year as well as $53.4 million to plan the scheme.
Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the measures showed NSW was leading the country in early education.
‘Investing in early childhood is one of the most important things we can do to give children the best start, a smoother transition to school and open up a lifetime of opportunities,’ Ms Mitchell said in a statement.
Other commitments in education were more money for skills, training and school upgrades, bolstered funding for evidence-based initiatives in schools and $478.2 million to modernise nine public schools in southwest Sydney.
The government has already announced continuing fee-free training for those in in-demand industries costing $82.7 million over four years.
NSW Budget: The key figures
NSW should be back in the black in 2024/25, with Treasurer Matt Kean laying down the prospect of a turnaround as the state rebounds from the impacts of COVID-19 and devastating floods.
The NSW government handed down its 2022/23 budget on Tuesday, confirming a $16.6 billion bottom line and forecasting a deficit of $11.3 billion for the 12 months ahead.
The deficit for the current year marks an improvement from half-year forecasts, which predicted the state to be $19.5 billion in the red.
The government said record low unemployment and strong consumer and business spending had led to the budget upgrade, despite pressures from COVID-19 Delta and Omicron waves and the flood crisis in the state’s north earlier this year.
It predicted the green shoots would have the budget back in the black by 2024/25 when a surplus of $601 million was forecast, followed by $1.4 billion the following year.
The budget papers forecast a rise in NSW’s gross state product or output of 4.25 per cent in 2022/23, having grown 1.5 per cent in 2021/22.
Net debt for 2022/23 was forecast at $78.2 billion and $93.7 billion in the following financial year before heading to $105 billion in 2024/25.