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My hero of the week – 3 cheers for Stephanie!!

On Wednesday I attended The Sydney Institute annual dinner where the Prime Minister Julia Gillard shared her vision for Australia (many thanks to my hosts, Carol Schwartz and her husband Alan).

A key theme of the Prime Minister’s speech was her desire to see all Australians fully engaged in the workforce. She spoke about Labour being the party for workers, and her commitment to see young people and people in high unemployment areas particularly catered for in our patchwork economy.  (You might have seen her speech, broadcast live on Sky News channel.)

At the same time you may have been following the debate this week on moves by the Government to reduce the childcare tax rebate.  As a co-founder of the Make Care Fair campaign, this is something that absolutely infuriates me along with everyone who is working so hard to see women fully engaged in our workforce in Australia.  So my hero this week is Stephanie Roe who wrote this articulate piece as today’s Letter of the Day in the Herald Sun:

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“PRIME Minister, in your address on Wednesday night you said you wanted to encourage more people into the workforce.

At the same time, you plan to cut the Child Care Tax Rebate.

My husband and I are both serving members of the Australian Army, each with operational experience, and a combined service of 45 years.  We earn more than your proposed $150,000 income threshold, and we have two pre-school children, who attend full-time day-care.

Our current day-care bill is $315 a child, a week.  This amounts to $1260 of post-tax dollars a fortnight or, to put it into context, the equivalent of the mortgage payments on a $400,000 mortgage.

If you withdraw the CCTR (the only thing keeping our employment viable), then one of us will have no option but to discharge from the full-time army, as we cannot afford this financial burden without any form of relief.

We will then be under the income threshold and suddenly become eligible for a raft of other welfare measures — as well as no longer having to pay income tax for one of us.

This Budget-saving plan will actually have the effect of driving people out of the workforce, and that’s hardly reflective of an ALP policy platform, I would have thought?

Stephanie Roe, Northgate, SA”

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Good one Stephanie, I couldn’t have put it better myself and all of us at sphinxx are right behind you.

I just wonder how many other working parents could also have written something equally as powerful… if only they could find the time!

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