Welfare, childcare bill passes lower house


The federal government's negotiation skills will be put to the test as it attempts to convince the Senate crossbench to support controversial changes to welfare payments.

Parliament's lower house on Wednesday passed an omnibus savings bill which ties welfare cuts to an overhaul of childcare subsidies.

But that was the easy part.

Labor, the Greens, One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team have all flagged their opposition to the legislation as it stands.

"While crossbench senators have voiced varying views on the (bill), the government will continue to work with them to achieve an outcome that secures much-needed child care reform, as well as providing responsible broader savings," Social Services Minister Christian Porter said in a statement.

He looked forward to having "constructive" discussions with the crossbench before the Senate returns on March 20.

The government insists the savings, to fund the $1.6 billion childcare package and national disability insurance scheme, are reasonable and responsible.

The measures are in the best interest of working Australians, Mr Porter said.

"There can be no doubt that Australian families want reform in this area."

Labor claims pensioners, families, new mums and young Australians will be hurt by the proposed changes.