Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has contradicted media reports that stay-at-home parents would be encouraged to work or risk losing government payments under the May budget.
Parents were to be blocked from claiming the child care rebate and child care benefit unless they were employed for more hours, News Corp had reported based on an unnamed government source or sources.
“This is simply false,” Mr Morrison posted on Twitter.
“In my experience all mums work, and work very hard,” he said.
Earlier in the week, Mr Morrison seemed to hint at changes in the budget that would impact on non-working parents.
“We want families to be able to stay in work and be in work so they can have the choice that they want for their families,” he said on radio.
Currently, families are able to claim both child care payments with a minimum of one hours’ work a week.
The measures were reportedly needed to allow budget subsidies for working parents.
The Abbott government has hinted this year’s budget will be less surprising than the last after widespread condemnation of what was perceived to be an overly harsh package of legislation.
But there will still be at least one surprise, Education Minister Christopher Pyne has hinted.
The budget would include a “major” package for families and small business, he told Nine Network on Friday morning.
A number of child care initiatives will also be detailed in coming weeks, said Mr Pyne — a seeming reference to the aforementioned measures.
– with AAP.