Labor has confirmed they will continue to block the Jobs for Families child care package by opposing required savings measures, while revealing they will blow out their almost $50 billion budget black hole by promising amendments.
“Any changes, amendments or expansion of the child care reforms need to be paid for,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Labor has confirmed they haven’t learned from their previous mistakes. Even with an almost $50 billion budget black hole and their continuing blockage of the Turnbull Government’s budget repair measures that will pay for the Jobs for Families package, yesterday they came out advocating unfunded amendments and changes.
New data reported last week confirmed that 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. 
“Since Labor tinkered around the edges of child care policy they have hurt families with increasing fees and increased the cost for the taxpayer. It is galling that Labor is standing in the way of reforms that will fix their mistakes to benefit around one million families and put downward pressure on child care costs for Australian families.
“While figures released last week show that recent child care compliance measures introduced by the Coalition Government have slowed the growth in child care costs, more needs to be done to reduce price increases for families and taxpayers.”
Labor’s 2008 increase in the Child Care Rebate from 30 to 50 per cent, without a check on what providers could charge, was described by the Productivity Commission report into the sector as having “accelerated” the climb of child care fees (Page 391), meaning families and taxpayers pay more.

Average child care hourly fees percentage change
Source: Productivity Commission Report on Government Services 2016
Labor however has been less than apologetic for the cost burden it has imposed on families, instead spruiking the measure as a benefit when they neglected to manage the hit to family budgets or its contribution to their massive legacy of government debt.
“Labor increased the Child Care Rebate from 30 per cent to 50 per cent of out-of-pocket costs, and increased the cap on the rebate from $4354 to $7500 per child per year, which continues to reduce the cost of child care to families.”
Kate Ellis – 
“Labor’s child care policy is failing Australian families and parents who, along with taxpayers, are footing the bill,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The Turnbull Government has engaged with the sector, with parents and the community and have laid out a fully-costed package of reform that will make child care simpler, more affordable, flexible and accessible.
“I call on Labor to work with us to fix the mistakes they made that are still hurting families and taxpayers, and to support the Turnbull Government’s $40 billion childcare package, including more than $3 billion in extra funding and required savings.
“More than one million families, who depend upon child care to work, stand to benefit from our reforms.” 

Total amount of Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate entitlements

Source: Productivity Commission Report on Government Services 2016

Minister Birmingham’s media contact: James Murphy, 0478 333 974
  Nick Creevey, 0447 644 957
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