Labor has called on the Liberal Government to honour its commitment to make child care more affordable, after new figures released today show many parents would face higher out-of-pocket costs under the Productivity Commission’s proposed changes to the child care system.

When Tony Abbott announced his Productivity Commission review he promised:

“We will make child care more accessible and more affordable for Australian parents”  [19 November 2012]

However, figures released by The Parenthood show the model as it was proposed would leave many families in Sydney and Melbourne worse off, because there would be no assistance at all for families once child care fees exceed the currently recommended ‘benchmark price’.

This comes on top of figures recently released by the Department of Social Services showing that for every income group, out of pocket child care costs are higher under the Liberals than at any time since Labor was elected and increased the Child Care Rebate.

“Many parents in capital cities and other higher-cost areas right around the country would face higher out of pocket costs if the Government pushes ahead with the Productivity Commission’s recommended benchmark price,” Kate Ellis, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, said.

“There is no point implementing reforms if they will just leave parents with a bigger gap to pay.

“We will work constructively with the Government, but we will not let Tony Abbott off the hook when it comes to his very clear promise to make child care more affordable for Australian parents”.