“Labor’s childcare policy fails to address the most critical roadblock to affordable childcare – regulation and red tape,” said Dr Mikayla Novak, Senior Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

Labor’s childcare policy, which was announced over the weekend, includes mandatory fee reporting, giving the ACCC powers to monitor and report price increases, and granting further investigation and compliance powers to the Department of Education and Training to investigate childcare providers for fee increases.

“These new investigatory powers and reporting requirements will lead to more burdensome red tape being placed on community childcare centres,” said Dr Novak.

“In particular, Labor’s policy to edict the involvement of the ACCC is an outrageous intervention that will make criminals out of childcare centres engaging in fair practices.

“The increase in the childcare benefit by 15 per cent will provide childcare providers with an incentive to increase fees, something Labor claims it is trying to prevent.

“Stay-at-home mums who volunteer, help out at community organisations are effectively being taxed to subsidise women who choose to work, this is fundamentally unfair,” said Dr Novak.

“Requiring neighbourhood childcare centres to report and publish prices for a government website reads like a 2007 Labor policy of grocery-watch and fuel-watch. We need to learn the lessons of past red tape failures.

This announcement comes after recent IPA research revealed that red tape costs the Australian economy $176 billion each year in foregone economic output.

“The best way to increase productivity and economic growth is through low taxes and less regulation, not through government assistance and more burdensome red tape.”, said Dr Novak.