Schools Bonus - unfair to Catholic school families

 State Budget: Local Catholic school families miss out on unfair support package

May 2024

The Allan Labor Government has excluded the vast majority of Catholic school families from the $400 School Savings Bonus announced in this week’s State Budget in a move described by Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited (DOSCEL) as blatantly unfair.

Director Paul Velten said it is deeply disappointing that 82% of students across the Diocese’s 45 Catholic schools (16,663) students will miss out on the much-needed support, while 100% of government school families will benefit from the program. The Diocese of Sale covers Catholic Schools across Gippsland and Melbourne’s outer south-east suburbs,

“Our Catholic school families are feeling cost-of-living pressures too, yet only those who are healthcare card holders (around 18%) are eligible for the program.”

“Like government schools, the vast majority of our Catholic school families are in the low and middle-income brackets. They are taxpayers too yet have been excluded from this program.”

‘We want to work with government to ensure students across all sectors receive the support they need to get the best education possible, but this policy is blatantly unfair.

“We believe the payment should apply to all students or should be means-tested for all students. It should not be based on which school you attend,” Mr Velten said.

Mr Velten said there will be thousands of parents across regional Victoria wondering why the State Government is refusing to help them with their cost-of-living pressures, while handing out money to families in Melbourne’s wealthiest suburbs.

“Our sector will be seeking to meet with the government as a matter of urgency, to better understand why they are treating families in Catholic schools like second-class citizens,” he said.

The Diocese of Sale covers 38 Catholic primary schools and seven Catholic secondary colleges and covers a wide geographic area extending from Melbourne’s outer south-eastern suburbs of Narre Warren and Cranbourne, to Cowes at Phillip Island, and right throughout Gippsland to Orbost in the East. All primary schools and five of the seven secondary colleges in the Diocese are owned and operated by DOSCEL.


Media Inquiries:

Media and Communications Adviser

Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited

0417 534 232