18 June 2014
The Abbott Government today rushed a Bill through the House of Representatives which will cut $336 million from child care assistance that hundreds of thousands of Australian families rely on.
Extraordinarily, the Government continues to promote its unaffordable and unfair Paid Parental Leave scheme, whilst pushing these cuts which include a massive attack on the means tested Child Care Benefit which assists only low and middle income families.
Showing how out of touch the Government is, Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, bragged that this Bill would only affect families on $41,902 and above, stating in Parliament:
"The CCB measure will not impact families with incomes below $41,902"
[SUSSAN LEY - HOUSE OF REPRESENATIVES - 18 JUNE 2014]
"The Government's own Department has admitted that over 500,000 Australian families on incomes as low as just $42,000 per annum will be hit by this measure, and we know that many of them will be hit hard," Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis, said.
Early Childhood Australia modelling suggests some of the lowest income families will need to pay between $3000 and $5000 extra next year because of these cuts.
LNP Member for Bowman Andrew Laming showed he had no idea about the cost of living pressures facing low and middle income families when he described this cut as just "a drop in the ocean" and the legislation as being "exquisitely balanced."
Member for Murray Sharman Stone showed her enthusiasm for the Bill, which does nothing but cut child care assistance, by referring to it as "brilliant."
"The Abbott Government continues to make attacks which are aimed squarely at low and middle income families and this one will directly affect their child care bills," Kate Ellis said.
"This Government needs to stop simply making it up when it comes to policies effecting women's workforce participation, and recognise that these ill-conceived cuts will have a massive impact on family budgets and decisions about returning to work."