Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government is pushing its child care reforms as quickly as possible but that Labor and the Greens are stinging families and taxpayers with delaying tactics.
Minister Birmingham said the Turnbull Government has consistently said it wants to implement sweeping child care reforms but that they must be paid for. The Coalition is the only party with any reform plans and any plans on how to fund such reforms.
“Labor is refusing to pass the savings needed for our $40 billion childcare package, including more than $3 billion in extra funding, denying families more affordable, accessible and fairer child care,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Labor is standing in the way of sensible savings that will more effectively target taxpayer funds to drive important social and economic initiatives, like more affordable child care for our hard working Australians.
“The Turnbull Government’s reforms will fix Labor’s mistakes from their time in government and are set to benefit around one million families and put downward pressure on the rate of growth in child care costs for Australian families. Our reforms include abolishing the $7,500 cap to ensure parents on family incomes of $185,710 or less aren’t limited by a cap on the amount of child care they can access. The cap will be increased to $10,000 for families earning more than $185,710.
“Until Labor stops delaying our reforms Australian families will continue to struggle under the model the Coalition inherited from Labor that has rapidly accelerated the growth in fees.”
Minister Birmingham said the Turnbull Government’s child care reforms had been introduced into the House of Representatives on December 2 and referred to Senate inquiry. At the urging of the Greens, the reporting date of the Inquiry was extended from 17 March 2016 to 4 April 2016.
“What becomes clearer with every desperate attempt from Labor to hide their failings in child care is that the Coalition parties are the only ones with a plan to make child care more accessible, more affordable and fairer for Australian families.
“Labor’s only policy on child care is to continue the status quo from their time in government which saw a typical cash splash without a check on what providers could charge, which accelerated the climb of child care fees for both families and taxpayers.
“Labor’s child care policy ‘tweaks’ in 2008 have continued to slug Australian families an additional $100 a week on average in fees, while in a “double whammy” the cost to the taxpayer has also increased by 180 per cent.
“We are offering the most comprehensive policy ever presented to improve the cost of child care for those who need it most, yet all Bill Shorten does is block us and stand by the current broken model.”
Average child care hourly fees percentage change
Source: Productivity Commission Report on Government Services 2016