Australia’s Budget to Include A$1.7 Billion for Childcare

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Australia’s budget that will be unveiled next week will include a A$1.7 billion ($1.3 billion) investment in childcare, Treasury Minister Josh Frydenberg said.

The new policy will remove the current annual cap of A$10,560 per child on childcare subsidies, and will be increased to a maximum of 95% for families with two or more children, the Treasury said in an emailed statement Sunday. The measures will boost gross domestic product by about A$1.5 billion a year and see as many as an additional 300,000 hours a week worked, Frydenberg said.

“The Morrison government has made significant progress in boosting female workforce participation as well as narrowing the gender gap,” Frydenberg said. “But there is still a long way to go. And that’s why were making today’s investment.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged a female-friendly budget on May 11, as it seeks to shore up support among women voters amid a backlash over its handling of sexual assault allegations in parliament. Tens of thousands of protesters have taken part in rallies across the nation demanding greater female representation in parliament and tough action against sexual violence and discrimination.

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