“There is an ideological black hole in Ken Henry’s tax reform report released yesterday,” said Ros Phillips, national research officer for FamilyVoice Australia.
“The Treasury boss’s report contains the equivalent of an outer space vacuum cleaner. It aims to suck up and make financially unviable many of the families where mum stays home to give her babies the best possible care.”
Mrs Phillips said Mr Henry wants to slash the baby bonus and abolish the FamilyTax Benefit B, which goes some way to compensating single-income families for missing out on the second $6000 tax-free threshold enjoyed by two income families. He would simplify childcare subsidies – but only for those families who pay an institution to look after their children.
“Ken Henry has ignored the social impact of his recommendations,” Ros Phillips said. “International research shows that parental care is best for babies, who need one-to-one bonding for most of the time up to the age of two or three. The federal government already makes it harder for families who choose to give their babies home care – but Ken Henry wants to make it even more difficult.
“We congratulate the Rudd government for rejecting the worst of the Henry recommendations – but we urge Mr Rudd to go further and treat all families fairly. In the best interests of Australian babies, childcare subsidies and parental leave payments should be paid equally to all families after a birth, whether or not both parents are in the paid workforce.
“The next generation of Australians is worth it!” Ros Phillips said.
- Family and parenthood