By ABC political correspondent Emma Griffiths
Most families will receive more help with childcare costs under the Abbott Government’s major budget initiative, but the boost will come at the expense of some new parents and families with one parent staying at home.
The Federal Government wants to encourage parents to do more paid work and has unveiled a plan aimed at making childcare more affordable.
Under the changes, families with household incomes up to $165,000 will be better off by $30 a week and even those earning more than $185,000 will receive more assistance.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the measures will lead to 240,000 families increasing their hours in paid employment, including almost 38,000 jobless families.
“We are changing the economics of going back to work so that we will get more work, so that families will have more opportunities to increase their income,” he said.
But the extra spending of $3.5 billion over four years is contingent on the Senate passing cuts in last year’s budget to Family Tax Benefits, including stopping payments entirely to single-income families when children turn six.
“Unless we offset this new spending it cannot go ahead,” Mr Abbott said.
Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said the proposals would have to “wash their own face fiscally”.
“We are not going to tax Peter, Paul and Mary to support new investment,” he said.
It sets the scene for more high-stakes negotiations with the crossbench in the Senate, with Labor ruling out any support for the cuts.
“Children don’t get cheaper when they turn six,” shadow treasurer Chris Bowen told Insiders.
“It just makes no sense. We didn’t support it then, we won’t be supporting it now, we won’t be supporting these cuts in the future.”
Stay-at-home parents with a household income of over $65,000 will also lose all childcare subsidies.
No more ‘double-dipping’ says Hockey.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has slammed the tactic as “blackmail” and is worried about the tougher work activity test to get subsidised childcare.
Under the new regime parents must do eight hours a fortnight of work, study or training to qualify for any childcare support.