Family advocates believe plans to save $4 billion by scrapping family tax benefits shows the federal government is only interested in “competing” with stay-at-home mothers, reports The Catholic Leader.
National Civic Council Queensland president and father of five Luke McCormack is against the controversial childcare and welfare omnibus bill, which calls for a complete cull of the Family Tax Benefit end of year supplements – a saving of over $4 billion – to fund childcare reforms.
The bill would also increase childcare rebates from the $7500 subsidy per child.
But for families who choose not to place children in day care, like the McCormacks, the government’s plan to scrap family tax benefits would cause “pain and frustration”.
This is because FTB supplements, in addition to normal fortnightly payments, assists qualifying families who, when lodging a tax return, underestimate their projected incomes.
If the bill passes, Mr McCormack said he would be $4000 worse off than parents who put their children into childcare in order for one parent to re-enter the workforce part-time.
The average family on end-of-year family tax benefits would lose between $1500 and $2000.
Mr McCormack said the government was wrong to back the childcare industry instead of mothers.
“This is the most ineffective labour-exchange an Australia government has gotten itself into in recent history,” Mr McCormack said.
“In effect what the government is saying is that rather than leaving the parent free for the care of their child, they are siding with the childcare industry and competing for the mother’s time as a primary carer.”
A committee report into the omnibus bill is due in the coming weeks and will be debated in the Senate.