Senate Estimates has revealed that despite spending $3 billion in taxpayer funds, the Government is well aware that hundreds of thousands of families will be worse off under their child care changes – and they can’t guarantee that more won’t be added to that number.
According to their own modelling, almost one in three families will be worse off, or no better off, and the Government can’t say how many children will be negatively impacted.
Under questioning from Labor, the Government conceded:
They have no idea how many children will miss out on early education;
45,000 families will be worse off from day one because of the benchmark price;
37,000 families will be worse off because of the new activity test;
Many of the 134,020 families the Minister had previously said would see “no change” could in fact be worse off;
They can’t explain why the majority of low-income families will be worse off, or no-better off;
These figures don’t take into account the Indigenous children in Budget Based Funded Services or the rural and regional children currently in mobile services who will be worse off under their child care changes.
“The Liberals are spending $3 billion yet making as many as one in three families worse off, or no better off,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis said today.
“They still can’t give any guarantees about vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
“After two years and three ministers the Government cannot answer simple, basic questions about who will be worse off under their child care changes but they still want to spend $3 billion pursuing their reforms.
“Labor has announced that we will support the additional investment in early childhood but we want to make sure it is spent the best way possible.”