23 June 2014

Just a day after feigning concern about child care affordability, the Abbott Government has pushed forward with its legislation to cut $335 million of child care assistance from the pockets of low and middle income families.

"We've seen this Government say one thing and do another on many occasions but this is extraordinary," Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Kate Ellis said.

"Less than 24 hours after claiming to be concerned about child care affordability, the Government has again moved to rip hundreds of millions of dollars out of parents' pockets in child care assistance.

"The Government is shedding crocodile tears about child care affordability one day, then the next day moving to slash child care assistance, only making it harder for low and middle income families.

"A single income family earning $65,000 with two kids will be around $6,000 worse off because of the Prime Minister's Budget - these cuts will make a bad situation even worse."

Labor successfully managed to remove cuts to the means-tested child care benefit from today's Bill, but the Government has indicated it will reintroduce legislation to cut this assistance into the Parliament again as soon as possible.

The Child Care Benefit provides means-tested assistance for more than 500,000 low and middle income Australian families.

The AMP-NATSEM report on child care affordability released yesterday showed these are the families who need assistance the most.

The report highlighted the long term impact of failing to increase women's workforce participation; on skills and economic growth, but also on the careers and income of Australian low and middle income parents.

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 child care cuts.

"There has now been over $1 billion in cuts to child care announced by this Government, an unprecedented attack on these vital services which assist workforce participation," said Ms Ellis.

"This is just another example of this unfair and cruel budget hitting those who can least afford it."