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TICKER VIEWS – What does increased childcare funding mean for women?

Keira Wright

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Australia invests $1.7 billion in Childcare to boost female workforce

The Australian federal government recently pledged to boost female workforce participation with a $1.7 billion investment in childcare. They say the changes will make childcare more affordable for around a quarter of a million families, meaning women can return to work earlier.

The budget expansion is a welcomed change for working families, increasing the subsidy up to 95% for families with more than one child aged five or younger. It also will remove the $10,560 cap on the Child Care Subsidy.

However, many experts argue that it doesn’t go far enough for women.

Samantha Page, CEO of Early Childhood Australia says although she welcomes any additional investment, she has several ‘hesitations.’

“The changes won’t be rolled out for over a year – that’s a long time to wait,” she said. She also raised concerns that the new rules may make the childcare subsidy program even more complicated.

Is the Morrison government falling flat on their promise of a female-friendly budget?

Although the budget expansion is a welcome change for working families, the question of whether it will make the workplace more equitable for women is still up for debate.

The Morrison government says the budget expansion seeks to remove disincentives for women returning to the workforce. Minister for Women’s Economic Security Jane Hume says the changes will help further close pay and participation gaps.


“These measures will help remove the barriers for parents, particularly mothers, to return to the workforce.”

Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge


After months of protests sparked by several allegations of sexual harassment in the federal parliament, these changes feel relatively underwhelming.

Although the budget changes are a great step for working mothers, it may be too little, too late.

Women have been calling for an expansion of the Childcare subsidy package for years – yet the Morrison government has only chosen to roll out additional funding in the wake of huge protests across the country.

“We are still waiting for permanent funding for pre-school programs. And early childcare workers are still not being paid professional wages,” says Page.

More affordable childcare for low-income families

The Morrison government says the changes deliberately target low and middle-income earners. Around half the families set to benefit have a household income under $130,000.

The intention is to remove the burden of childcare costs, which is often a prohibitive barrier for parents, particularly mothers.

The level of child care subsidy is also tapered so that those families that earn the least receive the most. These subsidies apply at the same rate per child, regardless of how many children per family are in childcare.

This may help tackle gendered wealth inequalities too because the cost of childcare often disproportionately falls on women, says Page.

“While childcare should be a shared cost, the cost of childcare is often weighed up against the wage of the parent with a lower income. Which is more often than not the mother.”

Samatha Page, CEO of Early ChildHood Australia

However, Page says it still doesn’t go far enough for children and women at risk – particularly those in rural and complex environments.

“We are still waiting on equal access to education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” she says.

“We should be careful to frame the package as an investment in children and early education as well as women.”

What do Aussie Mums think?

Jessica is a Melbourne mother of two daughters. She owns her own hairdressing business and her husband is an electrician. She says that although everyone complains about high childcare fees, many parents “don’t have a choice”.

This sentiment was echoed by another Melbourne mum, Laura, who had her first daughter during the 2020 lock-downs across Victoria. She says that cheaper childcare fees mean that she’ll be able to send her daughter earlier.

At the moment, Laura works two days a week while her daughter stays with her grandparents. However, she says that without the support of her parents and parents-in-law, returning to work would’ve been much more difficult.

This idea was echoed by Page, who says we need to empower families to make the choice best fit for them.

“Women should have the choice to work, but that isn’t the end of the story. We still need to invest in more generous paid parental leave too.”

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The Dogefather rides popularity wave – but not with everyone | TICKER VIEWS

Adrian Franklin

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(He’s actually not super popular with Tesla investors but more on that shortly).

Elon Musk has 54 million followers on Twitter and after sending this into the Twitterverse: 

Nearly 4 million people voted one way or another, around 100,000 retweeted, and over 70% answered ‘yes’ to the provocative question. Dogecoin’s price shot skyward immediately.

Musk is riding a tsunami of popularity after co-hosting Saturday Night Live, he took us further inside his remarkable mind during a wide ranging chat with the Wall Street Journal.

The 49-year old didn’t hold back in describing what’s wrong with business in the US.

“I think there might be too many MBA’s (Master of Business Administration) running companies. There should be focus on the product and service itself.” 

He has no interest in companies purely focusing on profit, board meetings and spreadsheets. 

“Why even have companies? A company has no value in and of itself. It only has value, to degree that is, being an effective allocator of resources to create goods and services that are of greater value than the costs of the inputs.”

Musk is adamant we can all develop a ‘product mindset’ like his. 

There are a number of steps involved with one constant “step number one would be try. Have you tried? Have you tried hard? And if you haven’t tried hard, try harder. I think it is learnable. It’s not some mysterious thing.”

Elon Musk/Getty Images

Now back to those angry investors. Tesla has had a bad recent run of PR in China and sales have been hit.

Last month Tesla was the target of protestors at China’s biggest auto show in Shanghai after owners vented their fury following problems with their cars.

These aren’t insignificant challenges but you get the feeing it won’t keep the new Texas resident up at night.

His focus is very clear “the two biggest things that I’ve got going on right now are the starship development in South Texas” and Tesla’s Gigafactory site near Berlin that’s just been approved.

Following Musk’s every move and motive is tricky, but you can guarantee one thing, wherever he directs his energy he is going to try very, very hard.

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Why it matters that Elon Musk acknowledges Aspergers | TICKER VIEWS

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Elon Musk on SNL

It was the key moment of his SNL performance that we remember the most. Elon Musk, one of the world’s richest people, acknowledging he has Aspergers. And he’s proud of it.

Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s, is a neurodevelopmental disorder, characterised by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication.

Elon Musk on SNL

It often comes with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests.

“I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s [syndrome] to host. Or at least the first to admit it,” Musk told the audience during his opening monologue. 

NOT THE FIRST

Turns out he wasn’t actually right.

Viewers quickly argued Musk’s assumption, pointing out that comedian and former “SNL” cast member Dan Aykroyd was the first on the show with the diagnosis.

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Aykroyd told the Daily Mail that his Asperger’s was manageable, although it “wasn’t diagnosed until the early Eighties”. 

Elon Musk’s announcement on Saturday about Aspergers followed days of controversy surrounding the show’s choice to make him a host, which featured a few cast members taking jabs at the one of the richest people on earth. 

Elon Musk on Weekend Update

But cast members Michael Che and Pete Davidson voiced their support for Musk on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

Che lauded the slate of upcoming hosts, saying Musk is “the richest man in the world, how could you not be excited for that?”

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Davidson said he didn’t “know why people are freaking out.” – adding he might ask Musk for a free Tesla.

“They’re like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe that Elon Musk is hosting!’” Davidson said. “And I’m like, the guy that makes the Earth better kinda and makes cool things and sends people to Mars?’”

VIEWER REACTION

https://twitter.com/PPathole/status/1391253342307774465?s=20

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The good times are roaring back for the Australian economy | TICKER VIEWS

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Bourke St Mall

Anyone else remember the good old days when it was exciting to wait expectantly for the Federal Budget to be released wondering what surprises good and bad there would be?

Well, 2021/2 was pretty much leaked/announced in the days prior and again last night was as boring as bat (even for us Chartered Tax Advisors!) to tune in to…

Big spending, big debts and no surprises which was pretty much a certain in an election year and a continuing pandemic recovery.

Melbourne's Bourke St Mall

Tax cuts were left in place, as was superannuation guarantees and the ATO has been held back in pursuing struggling businesses. Steady as she goes, keep the businesses running, employing and the people spending. 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE – “We are better placed to meet the economic challenge”: Australia’s Federal Budget

“Net debt will increase to $617.5 billion or 30.0 per cent of GDP this year and peak at $980.6 billion or 40.9 per cent of GDP in June 2025

This is low by international standards. As a share of the economy, net debt is around half of that in the U.K. and U.S. and less than a third of that in Japan. 

Consumer sentiment is at its highest in 11 years. Business conditions reached record highs and more Australians are in work than ever before”

One thing they didn’t harp on about (and what saved us last time during the Howard years) is it appears, we are on the cusp of an extended resources / mining boom as the global economy fires back up on inflated incentives of all kinds.

Australia's iron ore helping the budget

We Australians really have won the lottery of life

Macro, there seems to be a growing diversion in economic realities. We either go bust on debt, or we go super boom and hopefully deflate debt.

It is getting harder to see a middle ground between the two polar opposites unless of course its decades (doldrums) of low inflation/interest rates and there’s no will or policy for that!

Housing nearly always gets some love with first home owners and single parent guarantees to help people get on board.

Superannuation with further good news

  • The super contribution works test for those aged 67 to 74 is to be abolished from 1/7/22
  • Downsizer super contributions restrictions from 1/7/22 get even easier also with an age restriction reducing to above 60 the take up of this will be far more attractive.
  • The $450 minimum per month super contribution is being removed from 1/7/22 a good thing for casual workers a pain for micro employers (administration).

The question has to be asked, why wait to 1/7/22 for these measures? 

Biggest news once again is in supporting business

Mr Frydenberg announced the government would be extending temporary full expensing and temporary loss carry-back (to the year 2019) for an additional year until 30 June 2023.

Sydney's CBD is attracting people back

Further, Mr Frydenberg said the government will deliver more than $16 billion in tax cuts to small and medium businesses by 2023-24 with around $1.5 billion flowing in 2019‑20.

This, he said, “includes reducing the tax rate for small and medium companies, from 30 per cent in 2014‑15 to 25 per cent from 1 July 2021″.

Well, that’s the 2021/2 highlights and there are plenty of other lesser budgetary gems that can all be found here: https://budget.gov.au/index.htm or contact the team at CIA tax.

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