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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14681


Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:53): Families can be forgiven if they are slightly confused in the lead-up to this Christmas. First this government said, 'Don't worry. If we introduce a GST, there will be compensation.' We kept asking, 'What do you mean by compensation? What kind of compensation can you offer families, particularly those that are currently getting family tax benefit A and B? What kind of compensation can you offer them?' When the government withdrew their tax cuts, we thought, 'Maybe that is the compensation they were talking about.' But, no. Just like a boomerang, this government in this last sitting week reintroduced cuts to family tax benefit part A and part B. This Christmas, they have said to families all over Australia, particularly those in regional electorates, 'Next year when we come back we are still going to cut your family tax benefit A and B.'

To make things worse, this government in this last sitting week has refused to rule out increasing the GST. This government has refused to rule out broadening the GST. So families this Christmas know exactly what is on the cards and what is going to happen next year. This is the last Christmas for families that they will not have to pay GST on fresh food if this government gets its way. This is the last Christmas that families in regional areas all around the place will not have to pay 15 per cent on the basics if this government gets its way.