Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In her first election promise, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard specifically offered parents tax breaks of up to A$800 to cover the school uniforms of their children.

Gillard aims to pledge $220 million over four years to expand the current tax breaks to cover refunds each worth $390 for primary school uniforms and $779 for high school uniforms, as well as refunds for other school equipment like texts books and computers. “We all know that uniforms can be an expensive part of sending kids to school, but this change, along with the existing refund for textbooks and computers, will help families with that cost,” stated Gillard.

This comes amongst heavy speculation that a federal election is to be called in the coming days. Education Minister Simon Crean stated that the new proposal is an ā€œimportant recognition of the cost of school uniforms and it builds on something that we have established in Government but intend extending if we’re [re-]elected …ā€

As it stands, 1.7 million Australian children are assisted by the current tax breaks; this proposal could extend coverage to an additional million children. The tax breaks will not be available until after the lodging of the 2012ā€“13 tax returns.