OPINION

Rankin Matters with Jim Chalmers: Let's make it easier for families to make ends meet

Jim Chalmers at a day care centre.
Jim Chalmers at a day care centre.

On top of all the other price hikes, parents here in our community are being slugged by the second highest rise in child care costs in Queensland and the third highest rise in Australia.

Last year, long before the awful events in Ukraine, you'd have already felt the sting of essentials becoming more and more expensive.

Average families in our community are forking out $1,100 a year more for petrol, $2,860 a year more for rent, and $800 a year more for childcare.

That huge hit hurts even more because real wages keep going backwards, leaving too many hardworking families finding it harder to make ends meet, let alone get ahead.

Mums and dads in our community are being stung by some of the highest child care costs in the world, which have shot up close to 40 per cent under the LNP.

Cheaper child care is good for families, good for the economy, and good for women.

It's a practical way we can help take some of that pressure off the weekly budget, help parents get back to work, and boost our local economy.

Far too often, the huge expense of child care disincentivises parents from working the hours they want and need.

Recent figures suggest 72,600 parents aren't working because of the cost of child care.

It's certainly a story I hear time and time again when I move about our community.

Parents choosing not to work at all or as many days as they'd like isn't only bad for our families, it's also bad for our nation's economy.

Four in five Australian familieswould be better off under Labor's Cheaper Child Care Plan than they are now, with estimates these reforms could generate up to 210,000 additional working days a week - the equivalent of up to 40,000 full-time jobs.

For an average family in our community with one child in care five days a week, it would mean an extra $3,511 a year or $67 a week.

Investing now in our youngest Australians will make a real and positive difference for families, and is also estimated to add up to $11 billion a year to the nation's bottom-line.

We need to make sure that local parents who work hard can actually get ahead and provide a good life for their loved ones.

Jim Chalmers is the federal Shadow Treasurer and Labor Member for Rankin

This story Rankin Matters with Jim Chalmers: Let's make it easier for families to make ends meet first appeared on Jimboomba Times.