Federal Labor has today confirmed its support of additional investment to reform Australia’s early education and care sector, but maintains concerns about the impact on families of the Government’s child care legislation.
The ongoing Senate Legislation Committee’s Inquiry into this Bill is critical for Australian families to get answers, and for Parliament to make a fair and informed assessment of the impacts of the changes. Labor supports the investment, but we want to make sure that taxpayer funds aren’t wasted on a missed opportunity.
“Even the Government – when they put their best spin on it – admits that almost one in three families will be worse off – or no better off – after spending $3 billion,” said Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis.
“It takes special a very special kind of skill for a Government to spend billions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of families worse off.”
“Labor will not stand in the way of child care investment and passage of the Bill through the House of Representatives, but we will not be giving the Government a free pass on this legislation.
“We reserve the right to oppose, amend or propose an alternate package following the Senate Inquiry.”
NATSEM estimates one in four families – more than 250,000 Australian families – will be worse off, and the Government’s own figures show that these changes will either leave over 180,000 families worse off, and make no difference at all to another 134,000 families.
Labor has supported more than $9 billion in social services and child care savings put forward by the Government – more than three times what is needed to cover the costs associated with this Bill.