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Thursday, 15 May 2014
Page: 3909


Ms MACKLIN (Jagajaga) (14:24): My question is to the Prime Minister. Before the election the Prime Minister promised to reduce cost-of-living pressures on Australian families. A single income family earning $95,000 with two children will be up to $5,000 worse off each year, including cuts to family tax benefits. Does the Prime Minister agree with John Howard when he said, 'This is, in effect, a tax rise on people in certain income brackets'?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:24): If the shadow minister opposite has a look at tables in the budget documents, she will see that we are continuing to provide generous assistance to families with children. Obviously there are some changes to family tax benefit part B—I accept that. I also accept that former Prime Minister Howard was, as he said today, 'the father of family tax benefit part B'. There are some things that were absolutely right when we had surpluses of $20 billion a year and there are quite different things which are absolutely right when we have deficits of $50 billion a year, and that is what we are dealing with. We are dealing with the debt and deficit disaster that the members opposite created. We are dealing with Labor's debt and deficit disaster. There were some things that were affordable when we had a $20 billion surplus. Those things are now not affordable with the $50 billion deficits—the deficits that this Labor Party has given us.

I want to say that John Howard, to his great credit, made the decisions that were right for his time and this government will make the decisions that are right for our time.