||Issue No. 240||01 October 2004|
The Premiership Quarter
Interview: The Last Bastian
Unions: High and Dry
Security: Liquid Borders
Industrial: No Bully For You
History: Radical Brisbane
International: No Vacancies
Economics: Life After Capitalism
Technology: Cyber Winners
Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Locker Room
How To Run Society
Black Hole In Libs Kids Plan
The news comes as an ACTU and childcare unions’ survey revealed that almost half of all parents were prevented from working because of a shortage of childcare places.
Figures show childcare costs have risen by almost a third in the last two years while the take up rate for the rebate has also been underestimated by at least 120,000 children.
"Already under pressure over its massive pre-election spending spree, the
Coalition is trying to cover up the full cost of its childcare rebate,' says ACTU president Sharan Burrow. "
John Howard has already back-flipped over allowing wealthy families with nannies to claim the childcare rebate and now he is trying to mislead Treasury and hoodwink the public as to the true impact of his election promises."
"The ACTU calls on the Treasury to take these factors into account in the costing it is due to make public by Tuesday 5 October. The Coalition should also release full details of its proposal for independent scrutiny."
ACTU modelling estimates a shortfall of up to $575.2m in the costing of the Coalition's childcare tax rebate over only two and half years of operation; while Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows that childcare costs for parents have risen 31.8% in the last two years alone, six times the general rate of inflation.
"The Coalition is also misusing the 'Charter of Budget Honesty' by requesting
Treasury cost the rebate on the basis that only 575,000 families will benefit - a gross under-estimate - and by failing to identify 'behavioural responses' such as rising costs & a lift in demand," says Burrow.
Many independent experts have already commented that the rebate is likely to push up demand for childcare and lead to a jump in fees.
No Care = No Job
Meanwhile, the ACTU-LHMU survey revealed that for 52% of respondents a lack of childcare is limiting the number of hours they can work while almost a third were unable to return to work after maternity leave.
"These results highlight the need for a national rescue plan that applies to all sections of the childcare industry," Greg McLean, Assistant National Secretary of childcare union ASU.
The survey revealed that the childcare shortage was impacting on families with waiting lists of more than 12 months common and high staff turnover and inadequate facilities also featuring as major concerns.
"High staff turnover is a direct result of the low wages for childcare workers," says Helen Creed, National President of childcare union LHMU.
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