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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 11989

Family Payments


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:00): My question is to the Prime Minister. Today the Liberal government has announced new changes and cuts to family payments. With regard to the Prime Minister's announcement today, just how many families will be better off, compared to the benefits they receive now, and how many families will be worse off?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:00): I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question. The government have listened to the community, to the opposition and to crossbenchers, and we recognise, as I think all honourable members do, that our welfare costs are enormous. The social security budget alone is $154 billion a year and the family tax benefit costs around $20 billion a year. So we always seek to balance the need to support families, particularly those in need such as single parents, ensure our system is sustainable and affordable, simplify the welfare system, encourage workforce participation and encourage more holistic support of a child's development, particularly through child care and early learning.

As all the parents here are very well aware, the child is with the parents for a long time, and they need help in different ways right through the child's life. We have reformed the proposal for the family tax benefit B payment so that eligible families will continue to receive it until the child turns 13, as opposed to it cutting out at the age of six. Those changes will benefit around 700,000 families. We recognise that single-parent families and families where a grandparent is a carer have particular challenges when it comes to child care, and that is why we will continue to provide a supplemental payment of $1,000 a year to those families while a child is aged between 13 and 16.

Ms Macklin: That's less than they currently get.

Mr TURNBULL: In addition, all eligible families with a youngest child under one will receive an extra $1,000 a year. Many of those families will be part of the 1.2 million families with around 2.2 million children who will benefit from the increase in the FTB part A rates, including those with children above the age of 13, from 1 July 2018.

Ms Macklin interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: Put together, the range of changes will save the budget $4.8 billion over the forward estimates, and the package will help pay for the $3½ billion Jobs for Families package. As a result of the new childcare package, families with incomes of between $65,000 and $170,000 using childcare services from July 2017 will, on average, be $30 a week better off.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: I can give one case study. Jodie and Darren have a three-year-old daughter. Darren works full-time and earns $85,000 a year. Jodie works three days a week and earns $51,000. Maddie, the daughter, attends a long-daycare centre on the days Jodie works. Jodie and Darren will be around $43 a fortnight better off—

The SPEAKER: Does the Leader of the Opposition have a point of order?

Mr Shorten: Mr Speaker, my point of order goes to relevance. My question was in two parts. I asked the Prime Minister to outline what potential winners there were. But I have also asked him who loses out in this package. It is now 2½ minutes into the question with no answer.

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition has asked his question and will resume his seat. Prime Minister?

Mr TURNBULL: I have concluded my answer.

The SPEAKER: Just before I call the member for Barton, the member for Jagajaga interjected—

Mr Pyne interjecting

Mr Morrison interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the House and the Treasurer will cease interjecting. The member for Jagajaga interjected repeatedly through the Prime Minister's answer. I have asked the member for Jagajaga to cease interjecting on every sitting day. I am warning the member for Jagajaga. I will not allow any member to interject continuously without action.

Ms Plibersek interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney will cease interjecting.