Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Roxon gets it wrong

Nicola Roxon has again put on display her total lack of knowledge about her Shadow portfolio the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, said today.

“In Ms Roxon’s press release of today, Government gambling with Child Care, she carelessly gambles her credibility without checking her facts.

“Ms Roxon incorrectly refers to debts owed by more than 180 child care services as result of Childcare Assistance overpayments. She also claims that the debts are more than two years old.

“However, if she had bothered to check she would find that the amounts are not over-advances of the old Childcare Assistance.

“The amounts she refers to are simply part of the system of advance and acquit of Child Care Benefit.

“To ensure child care services have a steady cash flow, the Commonwealth advances Child Care Benefit directly to services monthly. This is a practice used for many years.

“The child care service then simply acquits their actual usage.

“Child care services have long recognised the benefits of this practice of advancing and acquitting and the stable cash flow it provides their business. They recognise they are not being hit by a debt when they reconcile their payments.

“Clearly Nicola hasn’t got across the basics on child care since her last gaffe on this issue and has no idea on how the industry operates.

“She should also keep in mind the record allocation of $6.7 billion for the next four years by the Coalition Government means quality child care is more affordable than ever. Our spending of $4.7 billion over the last four years, 37% more than Labor’s last four year, has resulted in record numbers of children now using childcare.

“I hope Ms Roxon takes this opportunity to go back to drawing board and learn something about her shadow portfolio before mouthing off and embarrassing herself again,” Mr Anthony said.