Parliament – Business Council of Australia and child care

Monday, 22 March 2021

Australians want cheaper child care. Australian women want to be able to work the hours they want and need. The current system is busted. It’s one of the most expensive in the world and it’s holding women back.

Those on the other side often talk about Labor’s preoccupation with child care as some left-wing agenda. Don’t take our word for it: just ask the Business Council of Australia, a group that has never been accused of having a left-wing agenda. The BCA’s pre-budget submission, entitled ‘Removing barriers to female workforce participation’, said that Australia’s female workforce participation lags a full 10 percentage points below that of men and that 60 per cent of working women with a youngest child under six are working part-time compared to eight per cent for men. They highlighted the effective tax rate of more than 100 per cent facing women who want to increase their hours. Their submission calls for an increase to childcare subsidy rates, smoothing the taper rates and abolishing the Prime Minister’s annual subsidy caps. It says that there will be a $4 billion to $5 billion boost to productivity.

This all sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? I am so glad that the BCA is backing in Labor’s plan for cheaper child care. The BCA needs to know, along with all other Australians, that it’s only Labor that will deliver cheaper child care to Australian families.

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