Less than two months into their term, Labor has already begun backflipping on their election promises. It is understood the Minns government is now planning to end the Active Kids program next month rather than extend the program as promised.
The Active Kids program provides a $100 voucher per school-enrolled child to use towards sport and recreation costs each year. The current vouchers, released on 1 January 2023, are valid until Friday 30 June 2023.
As of March this year, 7 million vouchers had been downloaded and redeemed saving families over $694 million. In the Bathurst Electorate alone, over 44,000 vouchers have been redeemed since 2018.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said this is a stab straight into the wallets of NSW families.
“If this program is cut, Labor will be ridding kids of the opportunity to do more of the things they love the most,” Mr Toole said.
“The Active Kids voucher program allow parents and guardians to afford after school activities such as soccer, dance or swimming lessons that teach vital skills to growing children.
“Families are already doing it tough enough with cost-of-living pressures, removing this program will only add to this burden.
Mr Toole said it isn’t only children missing out.
“This is a lose lose situation, local sporting clubs miss out on memberships that keep these community clubs open and the kids miss out on having fun with friends, being active and developing their motor skills.
“I am calling on the NSW Labor Government to extend the program as promised by Chris Minns in March.
“Do not make the children of this state pay for your poor budget management.”
Bathurst Swimming Academy owner Matt Simons said the vouchers had been very popular way for families to afford lessons for their children.
“Swimming lessons save lives and these vouchers have saved families budgets,” Mr Simons said.
“Whether it be Active Kids or First Lap vouchers, I have experienced first had the influx of students we have had since the vouchers became available.
“It is disappointing to hear the NSW Government may pull this program after promising to extend it.
If NSW Labor are to end the program, families have until 30 June to redeem any outstanding vouchers.