Australian Greens call for Activity Test to be scrapped immediately as we fight COVID-19

Australian Greens call for Activity Test to be scrapped immediately as we fight COVID-19

by Freya Lucas

March 22, 2020

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, it is critical that families continue to receive subsidised childcare, and that the Activity Test for the Child Care Subsidy is immediately halted, Australian Greens Senator and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said. 

 

“As workplaces suspend operations and cut shifts, families become unable to meet the Activity Test and may lose access to subsidised child care. We must not let this happen,” Dr Faruqi said.

 

Properly subsidised childcare should be made available to more families, not fewer, at this complicated time in our nation’s history, she added. 

 

Dr Faruqi noted that more than 3 million Australians are in jobs that offer no access to paid leave, and that many of these people are parents and carers of the more than 1.6 million children who attend childcare services approved for the Subsidy, and who may lose out on subsidies and childcare altogether.

 

“Across the board, people in precarious employment are likely to be some of the most harshly impacted by this public health crisis. Those who are currently meeting the activity test through volunteering or education will also lose out in wake of the virus as these opportunities are cancelled,” she said. 

 

Removing the activity test would be “a sensible and straightforward measure” to ensure families do not face increased costs or lose access to care, Dr Faruqi concluded. 

 

To read the statement in full, please see here

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