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Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Page: 2619

Economy


Mrs D'ATH (Petrie) (14:25): My question is to the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform. Minister, how is the government managing the economy to deliver real benefits for working families and pensioners and why is it important to deliver this support today and in the future?


Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform) (14:26): I thank the member for Petrie very much for her question but also for the hard work she does in her electorate for all the families and pensioners that she cares so much about. This government is managing the economy and doing it in the interests of Australian families and pensioners.

Of course, it is this government that delivered Australia's first paid parental leave scheme, which is now delivering to around 150,000 families, and those 150,000 families no longer have to make the difficult choice between staying at home to look after their newborn baby or going back to work. It is also this government that is delivering to those families who have older teenagers staying on at school. We know that that places an added financial burden on families, so this government has delivered up to $4,200 extra a year for those families, never delivered by those opposite. It is this government that is also delivering tax cuts, making sure that families get more money in their take-home pay. It is also the case that it is this government, on our watch, that has seen interest rates go down. A family with a $300,000 mortgage is now paying around $3,000 a year less than they were paying when the Liberals opposite were still in government.

We know how important it is to manage the economy, to deliver for families, to deliver for pensioners. When this Leader of the Opposition was in cabinet he said no to a pension rise. This Leader of the Opposition said that paid parental leave would happen over his dead body.

The SPEAKER: The minister will return to being directly relevant. The minister has the call—to be directly relevant.

Ms MACKLIN: Mr Speaker, this government does understand how important it is to deliver for families and for pensioners. That is why we have delivered a historic increase to the pension—$150 a fortnight higher than when those opposite were in government. One-hundred and fifty dollars a fortnight is what this government has put into the pockets of pensioners, and all this Leader of the Opposition wants to do is claw it out of them.

The SPEAKER: The honourable member for Indi will resume her seat. The honourable member for Petrie on a supplementary?





Mrs D'ATH (Petrie) (14:29): Yes, I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Minister, you have talked about how the government is delivering for working families and pensioners around the nation. What does this mean for families and pensioners in my electorate of Petrie?

The SPEAKER: The supplementary question is in order. I call the minister.



Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform) (14:29): I thank the member for Petrie for her supplementary question. I can inform her and the people of Petrie that there are real benefits going to that electorate. Around 1,000 families in Petrie are benefiting from our Paid Parental Leave Scheme; around 12,600 families in Petrie will receive increases in family payments; and for those families who have older teenagers, around 4,600 teenage children in Petrie will see a boost to their family payments if those young people stay on at school. Most significantly, around 49,000 taxpayers in Petrie alone will receive a tax cut because of this government's determination to deliver for the people of Petrie and of course for other Australians.

When it comes to pensioners, the member for Petrie can be very pleased that around 23,800 pensioners in Petrie will receive an increase to their pension next week—23,800 pensioners in Petrie. Of course, if the Liberals were in government we know that they would have all of that ripped out, clawed back— (Time expired)

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Order! The honourable minister's time has expired and she will resume her seat. The minister no longer has the call because she has run out of time.