(Australian Associated Press)
Parents struggling to pay childcare fees will benefit from tax cuts, the prime minister insists.
Last week’s federal budget has been criticised for not providing enough support for women, and for childcare.
Asked what his plans were to help parents pay for rising childcare costs, Prime Minister Scott Morrison pointed to fast-tracked tax cuts.
“Parents pay tax,” he told reporters in Rockhampton on Wednesday.
“And all parents got tax cuts.
“It’s not just workers that get a tax cut, it’s workers’ families who get tax cuts.”
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese used his budget reply speech to make major promises on childcare, revealing a $6.2 billion plan to cut costs for 97 per cent of families.
Mr Morrison says the government is already putting more than $9 billion towards the sector.
“Childcare is an important need that Australian families have, we know that.”
The Morrison government made childcare free for about four months at the height of the coronavirus pandemic to help centres stay open.
But the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows costs quickly bounced back for parents after free childcare ended.
The rise in childcare costs will add about 0.9 percentage points to the consumer price index in the September quarter, the ABS said.
The budget provided targeted funding for about 3000 providers in Victoria until January, while parents across the rest of the country got easier activity test requirements until April.