Unions NSW is concerned that Social Security Minister Scott Morrison’s mooted changes to the activity test for child care assistance will do nothing to help families on low and middle incomes.

Unions NSW Assistant Secretary Emma Maiden said before introducing the changes in next month’s Federal Budget, the Government should rethink the policy change to make it more equitable.

“These changes are going to adversely impact on those less well off who need child care support in order to begin to take steps towards work and education,” Ms Maiden said. 

Under the proposed changes to the activity test, people who are either not working or not studying could become ineligible for child care benefits. Up to 100,000 families on welfare could lose child care support making it even more difficult for them to look for work. 

“It’s typical of the Abbott Government that instead of giving a helping hand to those families that are struggling, it prefers to hand out welfare to the top end of town,” Ms Maiden said. 

Unions NSW has long been calling for the means testing of child care benefits in order to improve child care subsidies for low and middle income earners. 

“That’s a much more equitable way to target child care subsidies to those most in need, rather than changing the activity test,” she said.

“The Government is condemning those already doing it tough to never be able to break the cycle and get ahead.”

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