Minister for Education Simon Birmingham has blamed Labor, the Greens and the crossbench for refusing to pass the savings needed for the government’s $40 billion childcare package.
Speaking to Sky News, the minister said he was shocked the reforms, which would provide affordable, accessible and fairer childcare, were not being supported.
‘We are proposing the biggest recalibration of childcare subsidiaries and payments in the nation’s history and dramatically reengineering them to steer them towards those who earn the least and work the hardest.
‘That’s the type of reforms I would have thought everyone would welcome.
‘Shadow Minister for Families Jenny Macklin told Sky News that Labor has made it clear it supports additional investment in childcare and would back the government’s legislation if it was brought into parliament.
‘They had three years to do something about the cost of childcare and the availability of childcare but what have they done? Nothing.
‘Now they’re trying to say they’ve run out of time.
‘They’re not doing anything about it, they’re not even bringing it on for debate in the House of Representatives.’
However, Mr Birmingham said the Turnbull government is hesitant to put the reforms forward because the opposition is against the saving measures that the package is contingent upon.
‘We do need to fix the childcare system, but it has to be paid for and the Turnbull government has clear plans that for ordinary working families would make them around $1500 a year better off,’ he said.
If the numbers in the senate are not in the Coalition’s favour, Mr Birmingham told Sky News the reforms will be taken as policy to the election.
‘We can either put it to the parliament, have it defeated and abandon it or we can accept that it’s not going to pass the parliament and try and seek a mandate for the entire package and hope we can have more success in the next parliament.’
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