Australian families are sick and tired of ongoing cuts to childcare under the Abbott government, writes Bill Shorten.
It is against this that his hollow promises to focus on families in the upcoming Budget should be measured.
The Abbott Government has already tried to rip more than $6,000 away from a typical Australian family. That’s around three months of child care fees for one child alone that Tony Abbott wants to rip out of the pockets of Australian families, every year. On top of that, the Liberals have announced cuts of more than $1 billion to child care that will increase the cost of living for hundreds of thousands of families that rely on child care every day. These are the deeds by which we should judge Tony Abbott and his Government.
As a father who relies on child care to juggle a household in which both parents work, I understand the vital role that child care plays, both in terms of my daughter’s development at a vital stage in her life and enabling Chloe and I to go to work. That is why I believe, and Labor believes, in quality, affordability and flexible child care – all of which has been undermined by the Liberal’s cuts on the sector without any consultation.
Tony Abbott has repeatedly shown that he does not understand the cost of living pressures that Australian families are facing. He has already abolished the Schoolkids Bonus; costing a typical family around $15,000 over the schooling life of their kids.
Meanwhile, his Government clings desperately to a raft of measures announced almost 9 months ago in their first Budget that would rip thousands of dollars out of a family’s budget.
The only thing standing between the Abbott Government and these further cuts is Labor’s resistance – to cuts to family payments, increases in the cost of medicines, cuts to the Child Care Benefit and their latest plans for new taxes at the petrol bowser and the doctor’s surgery.