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‘We will continue to support’: PM backs move to cut childcare from JobKeeper

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Scott Morrison has said his government’s decision to remove childcare workers from payments eligibility will protect jobs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has backed his government's handling of the JobKeeper scheme and a decision to remove childcare workers from payments eligibility, saying the move will protect jobs.

Mr Morrison was asked during Question Time today by Labor MP Amanda Rishworth why he made a promise to set the scheme for six months last Friday, only for the childcare industry to be removed from it this week.

"When we put the new arrangements for childcare in place during the worst parts of this crisis, we were very clear that that it would not be a permanent arrangement, that it would be a temporary arrangement," the prime minister told the House of Representatives.

"What the advice was - as we worked closely with the childcare sector - was when we moved back, at their encouragement, to the usual system to ensure that demand can be accommodated in the childcare sector, that the preference was that we move to a sustainment subsidy of 25 per cent of their fee base rather than the continuation of the JobKeeper arrangement.

"That was seen as a better way of supporting more jobs and supporting the management and meeting of demand in the childcare sector."

The Federal Government announced the end of its temporary free childcare program on Monday, with childcare fees to resume from July 13, and the JobKeeper payment for childcare sector workers to end soon after on July 20.

Instead, childcare services will receive a transition payment estimated at 25 per cent of revenue brought in by fees.

Child care subsidies will return from July 13 and activity tests for parents will be eased until October.

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Mr Morrison's defence of the decision today comes just a day after COVID-19 Senate committee chair and Labor MP Katy Gallagher demanded answers over the earlier guarantee of the scheme.

"He said people can count on that... less than 48 hours later it was announced that childcare workers were going to be booted off JobKeeper," she told reporters yesterday.

"That's 120,000-odd workers who are facing no JobKeeper come July 12."

In his response today, Mr Morrison said his government would be working with representatives from the childcare industry moving forward as part of its COVID-19 economic response.

"We have been working through the sector," he said.

"We said very plainly that the temporary arrangements would not be permanent and as we're moving back and getting the Australian economy back on its feet, moving ahead on that road forward, we will continue to provide the support that these sectors need.

"Where we can do better than the arrangements that we have in place, then we will certainly act in concert with the sectors to ensure we can provide that support."

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Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/jobkeeper-childcare-workers-scott-morrison-response-eligibility-cut-question-time-parliament-jobs-economy-covid-19/6d88a6a9-0bfe-4d68-9e22-6d2786f7b823

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