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Government's cuts to child care will make returning to work even harder



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KATE ELLIS MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD

MEMBER FOR ADELAIDE

MEDIA RELEASE

GOVERNMENT’S CUTS TO CHILD CARE WILL MAKE RETURNING TO WORK EVEN HARDER

The AMP-NATSEM report The cost of raising children in Australia released today provides yet more evidence of the damage the Prime Minister’s $1 billion cuts to child care assistance will do to household budgets, women’s workforce participation, and our economy.

At a time when many women are weighing up whether to return to work, or increase their hours, the Government is trying to rush legislation through the Parliament to cut child care support.

"This is a wake-up call for the Government,” said Kate Ellis, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood.

"Instead of pushing ahead with legislation to cut the child care support families rely on every day, Tony Abbott should be focused on delivering practical help to juggle the demands of children and work.”

The Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Child Care Measures) Bill 2014, which will cut means-tested assistance for more than 500,000 Australian families, was opposed by Labor in the House of Representatives last week. The Bill is currently before the Senate.

“Despite being the Minister for Women, Tony Abbott is trying to ram cuts to child care through the Parliament without even any assessment of the impact,” Kate Ellis said.

“The Education Department has admitted more than 500,000 low and middle-income families will be worse off, but that is where the information stops.”

“Tony Abbott can’t say who his cuts will impact, how much they earn, or where they live - it’s deeply irresponsible.”

By rushing ahead with $1 billion in cuts to child care support, the Government is undermining their own Productivity Commission inquiry, which is due to provide a draft report in just a few weeks.

“This Government’s approach to child care is defined by wrong priorities and hypocrisy,” Kate Ellis said.

“On the one hand they are promising to improve affordability and undertake a comprehensive review, but on the other they are cutting existing support."

"Tony Abbott is persisting with his paid parental scheme that will give wealthy families $50,000 to have a baby at the same time as cutting the practical child care support low and middle-income families rely on every day."

Today’s Report also highlights the long term impact of failing to increase women’s workforce participation; on skills and economic growth, but also on the careers and income of Australian parents.

The Report also shows that the increases in child care assistance put in place by Labor effectively limited growth in the out-of-pocket costs of child care.

Major cuts to child care:

• $450 million cut from Outside School Hours Care • $336 million cut from child care support (legislation before the Senate) • $157 million cut from Family Day Care

SUNDAY, 22 JUNE 2014