Labor’s failure to adopt the Coalition’s means test would deliver an annual windfall of up to $176 million to families earning over $250,000 at the expense of low to middle income working families.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said that splashing up to $176 million a year on higher income earners doesn’t pass the ‘fairness test’ that Bill Shorten has set for himself and Labor’s campaign.

“A family earning $500,000 per year with two children in child care three days a week would be $5,000 better off under Labor, while under the Turnbull Government they would see a $6,680 decrease in their subsidies so that more support could be given to low and middle income families,” Minister Birmingham said.

“That compares to a family earning $100,000 per year accessing child care five days a week for two children who would be $3,187 better off under the Turnbull Government’s child care policy than Labor’s unfunded promises.

“Labor’s misleading policy document shows that their claims can’t be believed, while their failure to better target $3 billion in additional spending to the hardest working families shows they can’t be trusted with the hard task of effective childcare reform.

“Labor’s child care approach is in stark contrast to the Coalition’s comprehensive reforms that are fully-funded, provide an 85 per cent rebate for the lowest income families and will benefit around one million families who work or want to work more. By contrast, Labor is blowing the child care budget on families earning the most or not working at all.

“These revelations highlight Bill Shorten’s incompetence when it comes to child care.  Families remember the last time Labor offered a band-aid solution to child care affordability by raising the Child Care Rebate from 30 to 50 per cent in 2008, which the Productivity Commission said accelerated child care fee increases.

“Under the Turnbull Government the rate of fee increases is around half Labor’s –  3.6 per cent for the 2015 June quarter compared to an average of 7.8 per cent per year, and a spike of 12.9 per cent in 2009, under Labor.”

Average early education and care fee increase (June quarterly data)

Source: Department of Education and Training, June 2015 quarter Early Childhood and Child Care in Summary

“Labor’s $3 billion policy is unfair and unfunded with Bill Shorten failing to outline how he would pay for his poorly targeted cash splash.”