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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 11993

Family Payments

Ms MACKLIN (Jagajaga) (14:16): My question is to the Prime Minister. Is it still Liberal government policy to cut paid parental leave for 80,000 new parents each year?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:16): I thank the honourable member for her question. As the honourable member knows, we have chosen to reprioritise, to change the spending, to ensure the Paid Parental Leave scheme is affordable and that additional childcare support can be provided through our Jobs for Families package.

From 1 July 2016 PPL will continue to provide a taxpayer funded safety net for 90,000 families who do not have access to generous public sector or corporate schemes. Under the new PPL arrangements, total assistance provided to those without access to employer-provided leave will not change. Around 45,000 families will receive a mix of government and employer funded schemes. The government has acknowledged strong support for working families for the focus to be on more accessible and affordable child care in order to support greater workforce participation.

I note the honourable member's party, the opposition, have indicated they will not support these changes, meaning that there is yet another $1 billion hole in their budget calculations. The honourable member needs to think about that because, again, as I quoted her earlier—and it was a very wise observation—she said that these things, changes, have to be paid for, somehow. We are setting out our answer to the 'somehow'. If the honourable member does not agree with it—it is not compulsory to agree with it; she is perfectly entitled to oppose it—I recognise and I respect her difference of opinion. But what I would ask the honourable member to do is propose the way she would fill the budgetary hole that her position has created.

We are dealing with limited resources. What the honourable member should be doing—with great respect to her—is making the case for why her approach to getting the balance right is better than ours, because everything has to be paid for, somehow. We have set out the how and the honourable member should set out hers, in response.

Mr Perrett interjecting—

Mr Champion interjecting

Ms Butler interjecting

The SPEAKER: The members for Moreton, Wakefield and Griffith will cease interjecting.