If your family has two incomes and kids in childcare, then the 2015 Federal Budget is great news for you. It’s not so good, though, for full-time, stay-at-home mums.
Bean counting: The Federal Budget cuts child care funding to stay-at-home mums.
Listen: Fairfax economics writer Ross Gittins explains how the 2015 Budget affects mums and dads .
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The government’s proposed Child Care Subsidy will help double-income families earning $65,000 or less, by covering 85 per cent of their childcare costs.
And even if your family’s income is $170,000 or more, the government will still help out. They'll cover 50 percent of your childcare bill.
Full-time mums, though, will lose their childcare rebates altogether if the family income is $65,000 or more.
Economics writer and editor Ross Gittins from Fairfax Media said the change was driven by a government focussed more on the economy than the Howard government was.
“John Howard, when he was prime minister, was very conscious of the need for support for single income families,” he said, “but his successors seem much more closely focussed on the economic benefits of encouraging more women back into the workforce.
“So there’s less sympathy for single income families than there used to be.
“The government is saying if you’re not working, we won’t give you very much, if any, subsidy for any childcare that you organise.”
Requirements To Receive The Child Care Subsidy
Under the new regime, parents must do eight hours a fortnight of work, study or training to qualify for any childcare support.
Vaccination abstainers will also miss out on subsidies, with rebates being tied to immunisation requirements.
Labelled the “no jab, no pay” policy, this rule will affect not only those who conscientiously object to vaccination, but those who simply haven’t found the time to keep their childrens’ “jabs” up-to-date.
Mums with newborns will also be affected by the budget.
If you’re a new mum, and your employer pays you maternity leave, then you’ll no longer be able to claim the maternity leave benefits offered by the government.
The government’s aim is to dissuade so-called “Double Dippers”.
Maternity Leave 'Double Dippers' An Unfair Label
Mr Gittins said he believed it was unfair of the government to label mothers in this way.
“To date, people have been eligible for the government paid maternity leave,” he said.
“Under the present arrangements you can add the two [maternity leave payments] together, so there’s much less economic pressure on the young mother to go back to work.
“I think that’s highly desirable.
“But the government thinks if they’re getting support from the employer they shouldn’t also get it from the tax payer.
“You’ve always been able to get the two kinds of payment serially so that when one runs out you start the other, and can maximise the amount of time you can afford to be at home looking after the baby before going back to work.
“I think women are right to object to being stigmatised as being greedy or double-dippers when that was a design feature of the system.”
The new Child Care Subsidy arrangements, if approved in the senate, will start in July 2017.