Family ?bonus no difference
By UTE SCHULENBERG
KAREN Baird has never really thought of her family as 'large'.
After all, she only has three children, and for someone who has been working with children all her life that has never seemed a lot.
But now, under the Federal Government's new definition handed down in Tuesday's budget, three children is considered a 'large family' and she will therefore receive a bonus of $248 per year.
Ms Baird laughed at the amount.
"That will really make no difference at all," she said.
However she was pleased to hear about the change in the thresholds for the Family Tax Benefit A.
Previously the threshold for the maximum benefit was $33,361 annual income.
This has now been extended to $40,000.
"Those extra dollars will make a difference to me each fortnight.
"They are an important part of my income and will help pay for the kids."
Ms Baird also runs her own long day care centre in Coffs Harbour.
She is not impressed with the announcement of 25,000 extra places by 2009.
"Those extra places are useless here," she said.
"What they really should have done was increase the benefit.
"With the recent staff wage rises, we have had to increase fees and I had hoped the Government would increase the benefit to offset the extra costs to parents.
"What good are the extra places if people still can't af- ford to pay for them!"