House debates

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Questions without Notice

Child Care

2:46 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has now had over a month to adopt Labor's cheaper childcare policy, which we announced on 8 October. Why is the Prime Minister sticking with his broken childcare system, which holds parents back from taking on a fourth or a fifth day of work in the middle of a recession?

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

I thank the member for his question. The minister may wish to add to this. The policy that the government put in place addressed the many difficulties the policy previously was finding, and as was highlighted by the Productivity Commission report on this topic—we subsequently adopted that—meant that the employment participation rate amongst women in this country increased to record levels. The gender pay gap fell to record lows. The out-of-pocket expenses for child care actually fell by 3.2 per cent. We continue to support the policy that is sustainable and it has been getting those results.

But the member makes reference to his own policy. I would happily stand corrected, but it has been a month and I'm still not aware of any of the detailed costing that related to the policy that the member referred to from the Parliamentary Budget Office and the detailed assumptions that sat behind that. That is not on their website. It is not there. It hasn't been released. The detailed assumptions of the Parliamentary Budget Office—they can protest that it exists, but it simply doesn't. So, if they are going to come up with a policy, they need to be transparent about what it costs and the assumptions that sit beneath that. The Australian people know that, when it comes to matters of policy and how you pay for it, they elected a government that knows how to do that and they rejected an opposition who does not.