Tony Abbott may be joining the rest of Australia in acknowledging that his "signature" paid parental leave policy is a dud, but if he wants Australia to take him seriously on child care policy, he must immediately reverse his own cuts.
Before the election, Tony Abbott promised to make child care more affordable, but instead surprised Australian parents by announcing over $1 billion in cuts to existing child care support. Cuts which impact all parts of the sector.
"Tony Abbott's announcement today was driven purely by desperation, and to gather support from his hopelessly divided party,” Shadow Early Education Minister, Kate Ellis, said.
“If Tony Abbott had any genuine desire whatsoever to improve child care he would front-up, admit he got it wrong, and return the billion dollars he has already ripped from the system."
"It is simply implausible for Australian families to believe claims in today's papers that Tony Abbott wants to increase investment in Family Day Care, when this is the very same Prime Minister who just crippled Family Day Care with a $157 million cut.”
“The Government can't have it both ways - if anyone is to believe they will provide additional support for child care, they must first acknowledge that their extreme cuts were wrong, and immediately reverse them.”
Today’s detail-free announcement has been made by a desperate Prime Minister under enormous pressure from his own backbench, who are struggling to explain to their electorates the Budget mess the Treasurer has created.
“I’m not going to get into the specifics of this today”
Tony Abbott – Press Conference – 7 December 2014
"Parents across Australia should not be subjected to yet another hoax from this Government, who have done nothing but make life more difficult for Australian families, and now appear to be making it up one-day-at-a-time and lurching from one disaster to the next," Kate Ellis said.
“Australian parents deserve better than to be caught up in the Prime Minister's chaos and dysfunction.”
Labor is calling on the Government to reverse their cuts, and immediately release the final Productivity Commission report on child care, so there can be real and informed debate on the future of our child care system.
Labor is eagerly waiting to see any specific proposals for reforms to the child care system.
Child Care Cuts Announced by the Abbott Government
Outside School Hours Care - $450 million
Child Care Benefit - $230 million
Child Care Rebate - $105 million
Family Day Care - $157
HECS HELP subsidies for Early Childhood Education degrees - $87 million
Indigenous Child and Family centres - $78 million per year
TAFE fee waivers - $17 million per year
Early Learning Projects - $14.7 million
Professional Support Program - $12 million
Budget Based Funding - $3.7 million
Child Care Accessibility Fund - $3.6 million
Child Care Services Support - $3.1 million
National Career Development - $1.2 million
Recognition of Prior learning - $ 1 million
SUNDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2014