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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 296


Ms MACKLIN (Jagajaga) (15:15): What an extraordinarily angry rant from someone who is supposed to be a Prime Minister standing up for Australian families. Let's look at what this Prime Minister did not say in the whole 10 minutes that he had to speak about Australian families. This Prime Minister was supposed to get up and actually defend what this government is doing to Australian families. One million Australian families are going to see their family tax benefits cut as a result of the legislation that was introduced to the parliament by this government today. One million Australian families are going to see their payments cut.

Mr Joyce interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Deputy Prime Minister is now warned.

Ms MACKLIN: Let's look at what that means for real families—for people like Kelly, who I spoke about in question time today and who, of course, the Prime Minister completely ignored, and all the other families who were writing to and ringing our offices this morning, saying to us, 'Please do everything you possibly can.' These cuts to a family like Kelly's are going to mean that she will be $1,000 worse off. That is what Kelly said to me this morning. That is what is going to happen to Kelly's family. But this Prime Minister—this very, very angry Prime Minister, who is so worried about the fellow up the back—is auditioning for the challenge that is going to come from the bloke up the back, when what he should be doing is standing up for the needs of Australian families. What Australian families know is that this Prime Minister is going to leave families like Kelly's $1,000 worse off each and every year. And each and every one of you are just going to be like little sheep, following this Prime Minister and voting for these cuts to benefits for families in your electorates, and those families are going to make sure you know about it.

Of course, this legislation is not just about families. This legislation that was introduced to the parliament this morning is also going to cut the energy supplement—in fact, it will abolish the energy supplement. This will mean that pensioners, carers, people with disability and people on Newstart—all of those people—will lose hundreds of dollars because of the cuts of this government to all of those people. That is exactly what this government is going to do.

What do the government want these cuts for? Why are they cutting family payments? Why are they abolishing the clean energy supplement? Because they want to give $50 billion to the richest companies in Australia. So pensioners, people with disability, carers, unemployed people, young people, new mums and families—all of those people—are going to face cuts, or, as the Minister for Social Services likes to call it, repurposing. They are going to see all of this money repurposed, which is actually a cut to family tax benefits that will see thousands and thousands of people worse off. I say to this Prime Minister after his extraordinarily angry rant today: I would take the Leader of the Opposition's defence of working people ahead of yours any day.

The SPEAKER: The time allotted for this debate has concluded. The question is that the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition be agreed to.