Labour Women react to Budget 2024 childcare announcements
Reacting to today’s Budget announcements on childcare, Labour Women have expressed deep disappointment at the Government’s continued failure to invest in early years education and care. Instead spin is being used to distract from a paltry attempt to use subsidies to paper over the cracks.
Last year, in September 2022, the government announced an increase of 90c per hour to the universal childcare subsidy (NCS) to commence in January 2023.
Today, the government announced an increase of .74c per hour to the universal childcare subsidy which will not commence until September 2024 but are claiming that they have done exactly the same thing as last year.
This is less investment than was promised, and the delay to next September leaves parents with no additional savings for what is effectively a full year.
Labour Women Chair Hannah Deasy said:
“Today Minister Donohue again referred to a 25% reduction in childcare costs, but the reality is that small increases to the universal subsidy don’t amount to a reduction of 25% on what people are actually paying, it’s an ” on paper” calculation not a real difference in parents pockets. That’s because the percentage reduction is based on the pre subsidy fees, not the amounts parents are currently paying”.
“It is spin without substance, and increases in subsidies barely paper over the cracks of a childcare “system” that is barely a system at all. What we need is a public, affordable childcare system which caps fees and pays fair wages.
“It is hard to understand how Minister Donohue has awarded less money, at a later stage to parents in this year’s budget, but is still claiming this amounts to the same reduction as last year.”