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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6723

Budget


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:06): My question is to the Prime Minister. This week the Prime Minister has claimed that he is not cutting veterans' pensions, so why do his own budget papers show on page 203—

The SPEAKER: There are no props.

Mr SHORTEN: This budget is certainly not a prop. So why do his own budget papers—

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition knows perfectly well that, on the last question he asked, I said there are no props. I mean it. The Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

Mr SHORTEN: Madam Speaker, is your ruling that I cannot hold up the government's budget?

The SPEAKER: Correct. That is something I made quite clear some time ago.

Mr SHORTEN: Well, no-one else can hold it up. My question is to the Prime Minister. This week the Prime Minister has claimed that he is not cutting veterans' pensions. Why, then, do his own budget papers show, on page 203, $65 million in savings from the cuts the Prime Minister is making to the veterans?








Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:07): I make two points in response to the Leader of the Opposition, and the first point is that pensions go up every six months. They go up every March and every September—this year, next year and the year after that.

Ms Macklin interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Jagajaga will desist.

Mr Burke: On a point of order, Madam Speaker: this was a question with no preamble and no argument, referring to a page of the budget papers that shows a cut.

The SPEAKER: This is a point of order with no preamble either. The member will resume his seat.

Mr ABBOTT: There are no cuts to pensions, because pensions go up every six months, every year. They go up in March and September this year, they go up in March and September next year and they go up in March and September the year after that. It is true that after September 2017 they will go up by the rate of indexation that members opposite, the Labor Party, thought was entirely fair for the family tax benefit.

Ms Macklin interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Jagajaga will desist.

Mr ABBOTT: We have explained to the Australian people how we are going to deal with Labor's debt and deficit disaster. It is about time that Labor explained how it would deal with Labor's debt and deficit disaster. Just for once, I say to the opposition: 'Outbid us on the quality of your ideas, not the strength of your negativity.' Who said that?

Mr Thistlethwaite interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Kingsford Smith—caterwauling is not in order. We will have some silence.

Mr ABBOTT: I am not surprised that the Leader of the Opposition recognises that statement, because that is exactly what he said. We have told the Australian people how we are going to clean up Labor's debt and deficit disaster, and the Leader of the Opposition should tell us how he is going to fix the mess that he and his colleagues have created.