More than 1,400 Newcastle families will be worse off from Monday when the Turnbull Government’s changes to childcare assistance kick in.
Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the Turnbull Government’s own modelling estimated that 279,000 Australian families will be worse off from July 2.
“Australian families have had to find an extra $54 a week, or $2160 a year, for childcare since the Liberals came to power. But it’s about to get worse,” Ms Claydon said in an address to Parliament .
“In my electorate of Newcastle, 1 in 6 families will get a rude shock when the changes kick in. And low-income families will be the worst hit.”
Ms Claydon said the new system, the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), replaces both the Child Care Rebate (CCR) and Child Care Benefit (CCB) and sets up a complex web of rules including a strict new activity test.
"Under these changes, families on a single income of less than $65,710 where both parents aren’t able to meet the activity test will have their child care access cut in half,” Ms Claydon said.
“Families earning over $65,710 where only one parent is in work will have zero access to the new subsidy.”
Ms Claydon said the changes were likely to most hurt those with irregular hours or seasonal or contract work.
“This will be a slap in the face for thousands of families trying to make a go of things in an increasingly casualised workforce,” Ms Claydon said.
“How is it that the Turnbull Government can afford $80 billion for big business tax cuts, but it won’t invest in supporting Australian families to access critical early learning for their children?”
Ms Claydon has also warned of the potential for great disruption, with around one in four families yet to sign up for the new system.
“We simply don’t know what will happen to these families from Monday and whether they will get their payments cut entirely,” Ms Claydon said.
“It’s time for the Turnbull Government to fix this mess that is entirely of its own making."