Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Labor offering parents nothing on child care costs

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, today slammed Labor for offering parents nothing new to help parents with child care costs.

“In more than 30 media releases issued just this year by Labor’s Jenny Macklin, she offers not one single policy initiative to help parents with fees,” Mr Brough said.

“The only party is offering something to parents is the Coalition.

“Our $2.1 billion investment in child care in this year’s budget reflects the Howard Government’s commitment to families with their child care choices.

“Child Care Benefit has been increased by 13.3 per cent, 10 per cent above inflation.

“Child Care Tax Rebate, which provides up to 30 per cent of out of pocket expenses up to $4,000 per child per year, has been improved so it is paid sooner and more parents can access the benefit.

“The reality is that under the Coalition the disposable income required to meet child care expenses has fallen, reflecting the fact that our spending on child care has almost trebled since 1996 to almost $11 billion over the next four years and the number of available places has doubled.

“It’s time for Jenny Macklin to be honest about the real impact on families of Labor’s only major policy initiative on child care – to require all centres, including small Family Day Care centres to have tertiary qualified staff.

“That measure will put significant pressure on centres’ costs and, in turn, drive up fees.

“The latest claims by Jenny Macklin about costs are simply more hot air from someone who is offering parents nothing, other than the real threat of higher child care fees.”