Blue Mountains News

More Than 1,200 Families in Macquarie Worse Off Under Turnbull Government’s Child Care Changes

Source: Susan Templeman MP, Member For Macquarie
Archived 25 Mar 2018 - Posted: 28 Jan 2018
It has been revealed that more than 1,200 families in the Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains will be worse off under the Turnbull Government’s new child care package.

Under the Government’s package, which starts on 2 July, families will have to satisfy a complex set of rules to qualify for government assistance.

“Most of the families who will lose are those in the lowest income brackets – that is families with a combined annual family income of less than $65,710,” Ms Templeman said.

“The changes to the work test and a means test are likely to hit casual workers and shift workers hard,” she said.

“The work test will require families to satisfy minimum levels of ‘approved activities’ each fortnight – which will knock thousands of low income families out of the system. These are families whose children can get the most benefit from access to affordable early childhood education.”

“For families where one parent might do a couple of shifts a month to earn some extra money for the family, support is no longer guaranteed.

“For families who rely on seasonal work on the land or in construction, support is no longer guaranteed.

“And for those parents balancing caring responsibilities and wanting to access early education for their young children – support is no longer guaranteed.

“These changes not only come at a time of the slowest wage growth on record and an ever-increasing cost of living, but also on top of the 18 per cent growth in fees (to March 2017) since the election of the Liberal Government – which means families are on average paying more than $2,000 more a year,” Ms Templeman said.

“It’s going to be another kick in the guts for families who are struggling with everything from electricity bills to the back-to-school costs.

Labor has a proud record in early education and child care reform, including:

  • Reducing the financial burden of child care on families with increases to the child care rebate from 30 to 50 per cent of out of pocket costs
  • Increasing the child care subsidy to $7,500
  • Investing $970 million to create universal access to preschool for 4 year olds in partnership with the States and Territories.

279,000 families across Australia who will be worse off when this package comes into effect on July 2.

 
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