|Government Must Rule Out Further Cuts to Child Care Rebate in Budget|
Thursday, 29 March 2012
The Federal Member for Mitchell, Alex Hawke MP has called on Julia Gillard and Kate Ellis to rule out a means test or further cuts to the Child Care Rebate in this year’s budget.
“Labor has had child care in its sights in recent budgets. The broken promises on child care have already impacted parents and I fear they will again attack the Child Care Rebate in this year’s Budget, possibly with a means test”, said Alex Hawke.
“Families are paying for Labor’s record of debt and deficits. I fear they will again attack child care in this year’s Budget.
“Labor’s record on child care is abysmal. They broke their promise to build 260 child care and early childhood education centres on school sites and community land. Instead they only built 38.
“Last year, they cut the Child Care Rebate from $8,179 to $7,500 and then froze indexation of the rebate. This means that parents receiving the maximum amount of the Child Care Rebate would be liable for around $300 in additional child care costs per year for each child in care.
“Kate Ellis has to rule out even more cuts, including means testing, in this year’s budget.
“The Coalition believes child care must be more accessible and affordable, Alex Hawke said.
“There are up to 70,000 Australian women, including hundreds in Mitchell who cannot access employment simply because they cannot find suitable child care. This is a lost opportunity for women, families and our local economy.
“I am pleased that Tony Abbott this week committed a future Coalition Government to undertaking a Productivity Commission review into child care. Improving access and affordability in child care, is very much part of our positive plan to improve workforce participation and to strengthen the economy.
“In particular, we have to make the system more accessible for shift workers, workers in regional and remote areas and parents who do not have the support of an extended family.
“The Productivity Commission review would consider the current impediments to a family friendly child care system, including how parents can better access existing services including long day care, occasional care, in-home care, family care and budget based care.
“Families are under great pressure from cost of living pressures and the Coalition is determined to make child care more responsive to parent needs and more affordable for household budgets” concluded Alex Hawke.