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Rudd backflip should not have needed Senate estimates intervention.



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Tue, 19th February 2008 RUDD BACKFLIP SHOULD NOT HAVE NEEDED SENATE ESTIMATES INTERVENTION

Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson Shadow Special Minister of State

Senator Michael Ronaldson, Shadow Special Minister of State today welcomed the Prime Minister's backflip as he scrambled to head-off widespread public condemnation of his taxpayer funded childcare.

"I am sure that every family juggling work and childcare would love to have a taxpayer-funded nanny like the Prime Minister," Senator Ronaldson said.

"Working families throughout Australia will be justly infuriated that in times of restraint Mr Rudd believed it appropriate to have taxpayers foot the bill for childcare.

"Clearly he did not ask himself if a taxpayer funded child minder was appropriate in times of restraint when he employed the nanny almost a month ago.

"Working families across Australia will rightly be asking whether the Prime Minister would still be enjoying taxpayer funded childcare if his situation had not been revealed in Senate estimates hearings yesterday," Senator Ronaldson said.

"Is the only reason the Prime Minister now sees fit to pay for his childcare the negative publicity that yesterday's revelations have attracted?

"The Prime Minister is developing a very clear pattern of behaviour.

"The Prime Minister's calls for accountability and transparency have been shown to be blatant hypocrisy.

"Now when exposed to full public scrutiny Mr Rudd is offering to pay for childcare he has previously knowingly requested and accepted.

"The Prime Minister ought to apologise to every Australian working family he has encouraged to exercise restraint for his attempt to obtain free childcare.

"Kevin Rudd has demonstrated he is well and truly off to a flying start in establishing his credentials when it comes to open and transparent government.