THURSDAY, 28 AUGUST 2014
The cruelty and short-sightedness of the Abbott Government’s unprecedented plan to cut to the means-tested Child Care Benefit has been exposed in a Senate inquiry report into the Bill tabled today.
Today’s report on Government legislation currently before Parliament, which has the sole purpose of cutting the Child Care Benefit, confirms that the families of three quarters of all children using child care will be worse off under the Abbott Government’s latest attack on our child care system.
The Child Care Benefit is a means-tested payment to low and middle income families to assist with the cost of child care. The Education Department had previously admitted if this legislation passes that “500,000 families will receive less Child Care Benefit in 2014-15” (Department of Education submission July 2014)
In new evidence the Department has confirmed that in fact the low and middle income parents of 800,000 Australian children in child care will be impacted.
“This Government is just cutting for the sake of it and they don’t care who they hurt,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis, said.
“It didn’t request advice or modelling, it didn’t call witnesses other than its own Department and it didn’t respond to parent and sector concerns.
“To top off the insult, the Minister for Education could not even be bothered responding to the major concerns raised by the Human Rights committee.
“See no evil, hear no evil. This Government doesn’t know and doesn’t care.”
Kate Ellis said that the Department confirmed that it has not been asked for advice on the impact of the measure on families.
“The department has not modelled impacts on families by income brackets…” – Department of Education, Hansard, 25 August 2014
This cut will directly hit families earning as little as $42,000 a year and if it passes will bring the total of Tony Abbott’s cuts to child care to $1 billion.
The Bill is before the House of Representatives and due to be debated shortly and will save the government $230 million.