Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013; In Committee
by leave—I move opposition amendments (15) and (17) on sheet 7456:
(15) Schedule 9, items 1 to 5, page 114 (lines 4 to 19), to be opposed.
(17) Schedule 9, item 10, page 115 (lines 8 and 9), to be opposed.
These amendments go to the Child Care Rebate and the extension of the pause on the annual Child Care Rebate limit. Labor has always been a strong supporter of increased support for Australian families struggling to meet the costs of child care. When we were in government we increased the Child Care Rebate from 30 per cent to 50 per cent. The government has admitted it is planning to freeze the Child Care Rebate cap until 2017. This makes an absolute mockery of any claims that this government wants to make child care affordable for families and it completely undermines the government review of child care.
The government's actions speak far louder than their words. Their actions will push up childcare costs for Australian families already struggling to make ends meet. I cannot see any way that the government can justify freezing the indexation when they have repeatedly argued that it would have a devastating impact on families if they do not implement the Early Years Quality Fund. Labor will oppose this measure.