Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Labor steals childcare policies

“There is nothing new in Labor’s bleating about helping Australians balance work and family – bereft of ideas the Opposition has resorted to stealing Government policies again,” said Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony.

“Despite Labor’s claims, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a report in June that found more Australian families now use child care as a result of the Coalition Government’s better management of child care, ” said Mr Anthony.

“According to the ABS, families using formal child care has increased and 94 per cent of Australian families have their formal child care needs met.

“The survey also found that the number of low income families using formal child care has increased under the Coalition Government. It estimates around 33,000 children from families with incomes below $400 a week use long day care, compared with only 29,000 in 1996.

“These facts make a lie of Labor’s statements on child care affordability.”

“Labor’s rhetoric on child care is hollow considering the mess they left behind. They make false claims and want to introduce policies that the Coalition Government has already implemented. To fix Labor’s mess this Government has:

  • Introduced the National Planning System so that new services funded by the Government went to those in areas of high need;
  • Already established 78 new flexible services for rural and regional Australia; and
  • Maintained and expanded the Quality Assurance Model for child care services.

“We are spending $65.4 million for Greater Flexibility and Choice in Child Care, improving the flexibility of childcare to better meet the needs of families to support their work and family choices.

“Families using formal child care are benefiting from the Government’s tax reforms and substantial increase in family assistance.

“And the improved, simpler Child Care Benefit, into which we are putting an extra $600 million increasing payments to parents, is helping even more families.

Mr Anthony said the Labor Party policies were nothing but uncosted copies of Coalition strategies that were already working.

“Labor will say anything to win Government, from stealing our ideas to promising the world,” he said.

“Let the Labor Party tell us how much these policies cost and how they are going to pay for them, considering their plans to roll back their GST revenue base,” said Mr Anthony.