House debates

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Questions without Notice

Child Care

2:18 pm

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that last night the Small Business Ombudsman and former Liberal Chief Minister of the ACT, Kate Carnell, told estimates, 'The costs of child care are just too high. It's a productivity issue and it's something that needs to be addressed'? Is he also aware that she said, 'I'm acutely aware that this is not the policy of the government at this stage, but my job is to put on the table what matters to small business'?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Because child care is so important is the reason the government made the changes to child care. As a result of those changes the out-of-pocket expenses for child care have fallen by just over three per cent. Prior to that, they were rising, that is true—and under those opposite they increased by 50 per cent when their reforms only saw childcare costs go through the roof. We had the Productivity Commission report. We listened to that Productivity Commission report. We crafted changes to the childcare system which not only saw the out-of-pocket expenses for child care, compared to before the reforms, come down, but, in addition, saw workforce participation increase. In particular, it saw female workforce participation increase to record levels, and it saw the gender pay gap fall to new lows. On top of that, we know that there are many, many—of course there are; women are incredibly entrepreneurial. All family makers are entrepreneurial. We have a government that has a minister for family business—

Ms Rishworth interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Kingston has asked her question.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

because we understand that, when you're running a family business, it requires all of the family's involvement, and the sacrifices that families make as part of those small family businesses are significant. Many of the members who sit on this side of the chamber, and in the other place, have grown up in family businesses. It's important that family businesses get that support, and that's why we made the changes that we did. But, as is always the case, in the supports that we provide, we make sure that they're targeted and we make sure that they're means tested and that those who need it the most get the most support, and that's what our changes did.