House debates

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Matters of Public Importance

Child Care

3:31 pm

Photo of Sussan LeySussan Ley (Farrer, Liberal Party, Minister for the Environment) Share this | Hansard source

The member for Kingston should listen, or leave the chamber if she doesn't want to. But this is a really important, critical point, because something has happened to the modern Labor Party when it comes to their modern childcare policy, and I shake my head every time I have to read it. In his budget reply speech, the Leader of the Opposition said:

So our long term goal, and the mission we will set for the Productivity Commission, which will be asked to report in the first term of a Labor government, is to investigate moving to a 90 per cent subsidy for child care for every Australian family.

A 90 per cent subsidy for every Australian family—that means very large payments for families who are on very large incomes. And if you bake an additional $6 billion into your budget—or your shadow budget—for an increase of $6 billion over four years, you can probably try to make this magic pudding go everywhere, but at its heart is that complete inequity. I don't know what's happened to the modern Labor Party—the Labor Party of the tree in Barcaldine and the shearing sheds of western Queensland, a party that actually recognised that the most vulnerable children in society deserve the biggest hand up, and our early education and childcare sector is a way to do that.

Under Labor's policy, a family that earns a million dollars and has two children in centre based day care for 30 hours a week currently receives nothing in childcare subsidy. I think that's fair, for a family that earns a million dollars. But under Labor's universal 90 per cent childcare subsidy they will receive a taxpayer subsidy of $561 a week. That's over $28,000 a year. How does that work for this modern Labor Party? I don't know.


No comments