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Thursday, 13 May 1993
Page: 552

Senator NEWMAN —In relation to child care, can the Minister for Family Services advise the Senate how many children currently benefit from the fringe benefits tax exemption for employers sponsoring child care? How many are expected to benefit from the extension of that benefit, and what will be the cost to the taxpayer?

Senator CROWLEY —The Government in its child care policies, as shown by its promises during the last election, is very concerned to see that all people who want child care have access to it. To do that it has been looking at ways of extending the number of child care places that can be provided in the community. In particular, it has been pleased over the past few years to welcome the private child care sector into providing places and fee relief through that sector which enormously assists the number of people who are looking for child care.

  Further to that, the Government is very concerned to see whether it cannot increase the employers' responsibility to contribute to child care places on behalf of parents in the work force in particular. To do that, it has decided as of 1 July this year to extend the fringe benefits tax exemptions from just child

care places built on an employer's site to include places procured by an employer in the community, and also to family day care. As to the exact amount of those figures, I would be happy to get those figures and provide them for Senator Newman.