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Tell families of child care debt before Christmas.



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Nicola Roxon MP Shadow Minister for Children and Youth

For more information call 03 9687 7355 - 17 December 2001

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Tell families of Child Care Debt before Christmas

Nicola Roxon MP, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Children and Youth, today called on the Government to ensure all families know before Christmas whether they have a debt or money owed to them from their Child Care benefit payments from the last financial year.

“We all know Christmas is an expensive time for young families. Yet it is the week before Christmas and many families who received child care benefits in the last financial year still don’t know if they owe money or have it owing to them.

“Families should be told if they have a debt - the Government knows who the families are but won’t tell them. It leaves every parent of a child in care with the worry hanging over their head.”

In May this year the Department assured us that “win, lose or draw” families would know their situation soon after October.

“Yet as far as we are aware, families have still not received any written notification of their position. It is very unfair on families to have this uncertainty hanging over them at this time.”

The situation with the Child Care Benefit is even more complex than the Family Tax Benefit because acquittal is required from the Child Care Centre, to enable a reconciliation with the Tax Office.

“The Department was confident this could be done by October, but families still don’t know anything.”

“What is the Government doing to ensure families know where they stand before Christmas?”