Complete rethink on childcare needed: Liz Broderick

"Tinkering" with childcare is no longer good enough, according to Sex Discrimination Commissioner Liz Broderick who has called on both sides of politics to support a "big-picture examination" that considers how caring responsibilities affect women financially.

Broderick tells The Australian today that both sides of politics should support a Productivity Commission into childcare which would require strong financial modeling.

"To date, there have been piecemeal improvements – tinkering here and there – but we have never had an all-encompassing look at the impact of all types of care on women's retirement incomes and savings. Now is the time to do that," she was reported as saying.

According to The Australian, Broderick is advocating the Productivity Commission model a "carers' credit system" that will see governments contribute to the retirement savings of carers who spend 25 hours or more a week looking after others.

So far the Gillard government has not met the Coalition's promise of a Productivity Commission into childcare. However, Broderick says Tony Abbott's terms of reference for the Coalition's Commission do not go far enough.

She adds that "care" over childcare needs to be considered more generally, given women are largely taking on the responsibility for caring for the eldererly and those with disability.

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