Most of the 1705 local families are in the lowest income bracket – earning less than $65,710 – and are amongst 279,000 families around Australia who will be worse off under the Government’s package, due to take effect on July 2 this year.
Under the Government’s package, families will have to satisfy a complex set of rules to qualify for government assistance – with a work test and a means test set to hit vulnerable families the worst. 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.
Families with one stay-at-home parent with multiple young children under five years of age will no longer get assistance to place one child in day care for a few hours a week, while those who are also caring for aged parents will also lose access to child care support. This is an unacceptable burden that will further imperil the finances of low-income families at a time when they are already struggling with flat wages growth, and facing massive hikes in their electricity, education and health bills.
This new slug comes on top of the 18 per cent growth in fees (to March 2017) since the election of the Abbott/Turnbull Government – which means families are on average paying more than $2,000 extra a year.
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
- Increased the child care subsidy to $7,500
- Invested $970 million to create universal access to preschool for 4 year olds in partnership with the States and Territories