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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 12000

Child Care: Jobs for Families Package

Mrs McNAMARA (Dobell) (14:38): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the government's $3.5 billion Jobs for Families package will help families to work, save and invest? How is the government helping Australian families and supporting parents who want to enter the workforce?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:38): I thank the member for Dobell for her question because she knows, as all those on this side of the House know, that, to grow our economy and to grow jobs in our economy—that is what this side of the House is focused on; I do not know what they are focused on over there, but what we are focused on is growing our economy and growing our jobs—you have to reward, encourage and support Australians to work, save and invest. You need to do that certainly in the tax system, and that is what the government is working on, but in addition you need to do it through how you arrange your payment system as well. You need to have your tax system and your payment system working closely together for these objectives. That is why it is incredibly important that we have the Jobs for Families package that is going to deliver more affordable child care to families around the country, to give them the choice to be able to work more. That is what it is endeavouring to do. It is a once-in-a-generation set of changes that are going to empower families to have choice to work more. It will mean being $30 better off a week—$1,500 better off a year—for low to middle income families for whom, in their situation, the cost of child care is an impediment to working more. We want to remove that impediment. But when you are introducing measures like this—at a cost over the budget and forwards of some $3½ billion when it was introduced—you have to pay for them. The Judy Garland of Australian politics, the member for Jagajaga, has told us that you have to pay for this 'somehow'; it is somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high, in a land that she's heard of once in a lullaby. We know that the only place Labor can pay for their promises is in their dreams, but this is ridiculous!

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs will cease interjecting.

Mr MORRISON: 'Somehow' is how we are supposed to pay for it. Well, the 'somehow' was contained in the bill that was introduced by the Minister for Social Services today which represents a collaborative approach. We were working with the crossbench in the Senate—because those opposite are not interested in working collaboratively to deliver this program—to deliver the package of measures; we were listening to and working with the sector to get the package right. And the 'somehow' bill, for the benefit of the member for Jagajaga, is now in the parliament, and you can pay for these promises, you can pay for the more affordable child care, by getting on board with that program.

The offer is there for those opposite to work with the government to ensure that families around the country can have greater choice, and those opposite have engaged in a discussion today—the old discussion—about winners and losers. What they do not understand is: if people are working, they are better off. Those opposite have a closed-minded view about how the economy works. It is just a constrained pie. What we are trying to do is to grow that pie so that more families can benefit. We know that Australians would rather be in work than on welfare. Those opposite seem to have a very different view.