Labor understands families need relief from cost of living pressures under this Government.
Labor is open to changes which assist families to deal with an increased cost of living, and make it easier for parents to participate in the workforce.
However we will not support the short-sighted and cruel cuts to family payments the Government is trying to link to these changes.
Labor believes that child care should be accessible and affordable for parents and support children’s early education and development.
However families will be kept waiting for these changes, and many will have their access to child care cut.
From what we have seen of today's announcement, there are some things we would welcome in principle – like a simplified system, a single means-tested subsidy and a continued commitment to the National Quality Framework.
However, what really matters is whether families will actually be better off.
We are concerned by reports today that lower-income families will have their access cut in half, and others will be pushed out of the system entirely. Meanwhile, wealthy families will see their assistance increase by a third.
We are also concerned that new child care restrictions make it harder for families returning to work, and leave working parents – particularly those working casual or part time – with less support.
The Government still has $1 billion in cuts to child care on the table, and their own figures show child care fees will rise by 22.5 per cent by the time families notice any changes in mid 2017.
Tony Abbott is holding families to ransom with cuts to Family Tax Benefits that would start now if he had his way – leaving some families as much as $6,000 worse off.
Tony Abbott needs to stop playing cynical politics and find a fair way to pay for these changes - Labor will fight these unfair cuts until they are scrapped forever.
When all the details are on the table, Labor will speak to parents, childcare providers and experts to thoroughly assess the impacts of the entire package.
SUNDAY, 10 MAY 2015