Richmond MP Justine Elliot has launched a swingeing attack on a new piece of Abbott government legislation, which she says ‘has the sole purpose of cutting the Child Care Benefit that 3,110 families in Richmond rely on.’
The Child Care Benefit is a means-tested payment to low and middle-income families to assist with the cost of childcare.
The cuts will directly hit families earning as little as $42,000 a year, she said.
Mrs Elliot has joined with acting shadow minister for early childhood, Amanda Rishworth, to oppose the cuts, which are part of legislation currently before federal parliament.
‘The education department has admitted 500,000 low and middle-income families will be worse off because of this cut,’ Ms Rishworth said.
‘This directly hits those families who can least afford it, including many parents who would otherwise be forced to leave the workforce.’
‘Since the election the government has announced over $1 billion in cuts to child care, this one being the latest.’
‘This is an unprecedented attack: no previous government has ever moved to cut the Child Care Benefit,’ Ms Rishworth said.
Mrs Elliot meanwhile has accused the Abbott government of ‘taking the far north of the state for granted.’
‘It is simply unfair to be cutting direct child care assistance for low and middle-income families, while at the same time pushing for a multibillion dollar Paid Parental Leave scheme accessible by millionaires.’
And she is calling on the community to fight back.
‘Labor will fight this cut – but we can’t do it alone. We need to convince cross-bench senators, who will have the final say on this legislation, not to support the government’s cruel attack on low and middle-income families,’ she said.
Ms Elliot said Labor was starting a petition against the cuts and has called for anyone concerned about the removal of the benefit to sign it.