Middle, low income earners get most from child care package

MIDDLE and lower income earners would get the most help from the Abbott government's $3.5 billion child care package, despite the reforms reliant on passage through the Senate.

Treasurer Joe Hockey was absent during the key budget announcement on Sunday, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Social Services Minister Scott Morrison instead releasing the plans.

The changes would also be reliant on the Senate passing cuts to family tax benefits, which have failed to pass the Upper House since they were first proposed in last year's budget.

Among the reforms would be a single means-tested child care payment, while families earning up to $165,000 a year could get $30 more support a week.

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The policy would also boost payments to households earning as much as $185,000 a year, while those earning more would get up to $10,000 in subsidies, up from the current $7500n limit.

Mr Abbott said on Sunday the reforms would help 240,000 families work more, including some 38,000 jobless families.

Stay at home parents with a household income over $65,000, and those parents who failed to immunise their children, would also lose all childcare support.


But he said the entire package would only go ahead if the Senate passed last year's proposals, despite Labor and The Greens rejecting them before the budget has been released.

Those changes would include cutting families off from all family tax benefits when their children turned six years old.

But Opposition shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said on ABC TV on Sunday Labor did not support the changes last year, and would not support them now.

While the government was able to get Labor's support for some welfare and support payment reforms last year, the measures the government has attached to the proposed reforms were rejected.

The full details are expected to be released on Tuesday night, when Treasurer Joe Hockey fronts the cameras to deliver his second budget. - APN Newsdesk



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