Riverina federal election 2019: Labor Childcare and dental pledge 'a relief'

Riverina families struggling with the cost of living will benefit from Labor's pledge on childcare subsidies, according to Labor candidate Mark Jeffreson.
Riverina families struggling with the cost of living will benefit from Labor's pledge on childcare subsidies, according to Labor candidate Mark Jeffreson.

Riverina families and pensioners would benefit directly from Labor's multibillion-dollar pledges on childcare and dental health, according to party candidate Mark Jeffreson.

The opposition announced two major policies worth about $6 billion on Sunday, less than 24 hours before early voting centres opened their doors for the federal election.

Under Labor's childcare pledge, childcare subsidies for families earning up to $69,000 increase by $2100 per year, per child.

"It will provide relief as people's wages aren't rising but costs keep going up and childcare costs have come up a lot," Mr Jeffreson said.

"We keep being told that 90 per cent of a child's brain development happens before the age of five, so it sounds like a pretty good investment," he said.

Families with an income up to $174,000 would be about $1200 a year better off per year, per child.

Riverina MP Michael McCormack said the Coalition had a proven record in reducing childcare costs.

"Since The Nationals' childcare reforms in July, out-of-pocket costs have come down 8.9 per cent," he said.

"It's a fact that child care fees increased by more than 50 per cent when Labor was last in government.

"As the fees blew out, the costs to the taxpayer blew out and Labor couldn't afford to pay for their child care promises. Labor can't manage money, which means they come after yours."

Labor also pledged to provide $1000 towards dental care every two years for those on the age pension.

Mr Jeffreson said pensioners were under extreme cost pressure.

The previous federal budget recorded 5456 families in the Riverina and Central West using childcare rebates.

United Australia Party Riverina candidate Richard Foley said he supported the idea of increasing childcare subsidies but he wanted to know where the money would come from.

"I'm a single parent and I know what it's like. I raised my daughter and used childcare while I was working and the costs were prohibitive," Mr Foley said.

"It's no slight on the industry or the workers, but something has to be done."

The cost of Labor's pledges on Sunday matches the forecast increased tax revenue under its proposed changes to negative gearing and franking credits.

Mr Foley said he did not support the franking credits policy as most recipients were on a low income, preferring that the government crack down on the use of offshore tax havens instead.

Riverina Greens candidate Michael Bayles said he welcomed Labor's dental care pledge as it could move the nation closer to including full dental in Medicare.

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