Federal Politics


Parent bonus passes through house

The government has passed its so-called "SchoolKids Bonus" payment through the lower house.

The bill passed this evening, after several attempts by the Opposition to delay the vote and oppose the measure.

There is no official count as the vote was taken on voices but independents Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windor and Andrew Wilkie supported the bonus, along with Bob Katter and Green Adam Bandt.

The budget measure - leaked before budget night - will see families earning less than $120,000 a year receive $820 for high school students and $410 for each primary school child.

It will cost $2.1 billion and replace the existing Education Tax Refund, which requires parents to keep receipts and claim the cost of school-related items.

Ms Gillard has called the boost a "a helping hand for those families," and said that it could be used to pay for school uniforms, stationary supplies and school excursions. The Prime Minister told Parliament today that she trusted families to spend the money appropriately. "We respect them," she said.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has called the bonus a "sugar hit".

Earlier today, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott would not confirm his view - saying he had to take the issue to Coalition party room - but said his "disposition" was not to support it.

"That's certainly our disposition ... not to support something which is not fair dinkum which isn't honest about its purpose," he told reporters in Canberra.

During the parliamentary debate, Mr Katter argued that parents should be paid $7000 a year for every child to ensure the Australian race survives.

With AAP