House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Questions without Notice


3:08 pm

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Why is the Prime Minister committed to a $65 billion handout for big business but making our fantastic early childhood educators, like those in the public gallery today, pay more tax, with an early childhood educator on $45,000 paying $225 a year more tax?

3:09 pm

Photo of Malcolm TurnbullMalcolm Turnbull (Wentworth, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for her question. I want to say that we all admire early childcare educators, and I want to say that the government does not set the wages or conditions of childcare educators. The role of the government is to provide subsidies to hardworking Australian families so they can afford the care they need in order to balance their work and family responsibilities. And we are.

As of 2 July this year we will provide up to 85 per cent of the cost of care for low-income families and record levels of investment. In fact, the increase in the overall subsidy for child care is well over $1 billion a year. It will be $8.8 billion in the first full year. Childcare reforms provide the highest rate of subsidy, 85 per cent to those with the lowest incomes, below or around $65,000 a year; provide the most hours of subsidised hours of care to those who work the most hours, 100 hours a fortnight; and remove the annual childcare rebate cap to families on less than around $185,000 a year. That's 85 per cent of families using child care, and the Labor Party voted against it. They voted against that reform.

We note the decision of the Fair Work Commission. It is an independent umpire set up by the Labor Party and it determines these matters independently of government. We respect the independent decisions of the Fair Work Commission, and it's about time the Leader of the Opposition did too.