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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6725


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:15): My question is to the Prime Minister. This week the Prime Minister has repeatedly claimed that he is not cutting pensions, so why do his own budget papers, on page 203, show a $449 million saving from the Prime Minister's cuts to pensions?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:15): At the risk of repeating myself, I just want to point out to members opposite that all pensions will go up in March and September every year.

Ms Macklin interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Jagajaga will desist.

Mr ABBOTT: All pensions will go up in March and September every year, but what will happen in September 2017—after the next election—is that the indexation rate will change to a rate which the Labor Party thought was fair for family tax benefit. If it is fair for family tax benefit, it is fair for other social security benefits. If the Labor Party thought it was fair for family tax benefit, they ought to think it is fair for what this government has done.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: There will be silence on my left, including the member for McMahon.

Mr ABBOTT: The Leader of the Opposition should stop trying to scare the pensioners of this country.

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield will remove himself under 94(a).

The member for Wakefield then left the chamber.

Mr ABBOTT: He should stop trying to curry political favour on the basis of a scare. It is cheap. It is unworthy. Decent Labor leaders like Bob Hawke and Paul Keating would be ashamed of it. Even the Leader of the Opposition was once above this kind of thing. He said in this House in 2011:

We in the Labor Party do not rely on scaring people to obtain power …

If it was true in 2011, it certainly is not true in 2014.