Today the Abbott Government has broken another promise by targeting low-paid childcare workers – asking them to give money allocated for wage increases back to the Government.
Member for Ballarat, Catherine King said it was unfair to pressure early childhood educators to give back promised wage increases by scrapping the Early Years Quality Fund on the eve of Christmas.
“After previously promising to honour contracts entered into with childcare providers, the Abbott Government has now scrapped overdue and fully funded pay rises on the eve of Christmas,” Ms King said.
“It is not enough for the Government to break another promise – they are pressuring childcare providers to pass on these cuts for them.”
Just last week, Tony Abbott told the Parliament that his Government would keep its election promise to honour Early Years Quality Fund contracts:
“We will absolutely honour all of our commitments and contracts, and contracts which have been entered into will be honoured”.
PRIME MINISTER TONY ABBOTT QUESTION TIME 5 DECEMBER 2013
But today, Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, “invited” providers to “do the right thing” and return funds contracted under the Early Years Quality Fund.
“Taking money away from early childhood educators will lead to increased fees, and comes on top of the Abbott Government’s four year freeze on the indexation of the Child Care Rebate cap. Tens of thousands of families will be worse off.”
“The decision to deny wage increases for some of Australia’s lowest-paid but highest-value workers beggars belief.”
Background: the $300 million Early Years Quality Fund was introduced by Labor to support early childhood educator wages while the Fair Work Commission decides the equal pay case currently before it.