A few more of the big budget headaches that will be delivered this Tuesday have been leaked in advance by the Government and these are likely to cause a lot of chatter Stay at home mums might be a thing of the past if the government policy writers get their way in the budget, whilst working mums will get more support.
There’s some big changes to the maternity leave and childcare funding regimes coming, and for those who have been enjoying a leisurely ride on the taxpayer, it might be about to get a little harder; whilst those doing it tough to try and juggle family and work will be rewarded. This is the new Australian economy it appears, and the government are lining up to drive cultural change. Under this regime, stay at home mums can no longer receive childcare subsidies, and there’ll be no more double dipping maternity leave programs. All the money being handed out will be to those contributing to the economy actively, through participating in the workforce. Do you think such an enormous cultural shift is desirable?
The big discussions on social media tonight lie in two areas and we want to hear your thoughts:
1) The government are removing the ability for couples who are paid maternity leave by their employer to double dip against the government’s maternity leave scheme. Hockey revealed the change in an interview with Laurie Oakes pointing out that new parents who have been lucky enough to be offered paid maternity leave have been able to have their hands in the public purse too, and Abbott and Hockey plan to put a stop to it. Rightfully so many will say.
“At the moment people can claim parental leave payments from both the government and their employers so they are effectively double dipping,” Treasurer Joe Hockey said.
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“We are going to stop that. You cannot double dip, you cannot get parental leave paid from your employer and taxpayers … so for people on the minimum wage they will still get $11,500 for the 18 weeks they are off on parental leave but people will not be able to claim it both from their employer and the taxpayers.”
2) Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey have also declared that parents who want to access childcare subsidies need to contribute to the employment market in Australia and are putting in place changes to make working more worthwhile, but also, mandatory if you want to access care. They are proposing some seemingly positive changes to the childcare system to make families earning under $165,000 up to $30 better off a week if they use childcare, attempting to encourage greater workforce participation from people who could return to work after having children. And the means tests on access will become uniform in two years time. But stay-at-home parents with a household income of over $65,000 will be the losers, losing all childcare subsidies. Under the new regime parents must do eight hours a fortnight of work, study or training to qualify for any childcare support.
“We are changing the economics of going back to work so that we will get more work, so that families will have more opportunities to increase their income,” said Mr Hockey.
But the Treasurer went to pains to point out that the extra spending of $3.5 billion over four years on childcare changes is contingent on the Senate passing cuts in last year’s budget to Family Tax Benefits, including stopping payments entirely to single-income families when children turn six.
“Unless we offset this new spending it cannot go ahead,” Mr Abbott said.
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It’s clear to all… all money being handed out will be to those contributing to the economy, through participating in the workforce. Is this the society we want to create? On Mothers Day shouldn’t we be celebrating Mums all round? Or do you agree? Money should only go to those who are helping grow the economy productively?