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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 3495


Mrs MIRABELLA (3:38 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the government guarantee that no parent or family will be worse off as a result of its proposed maternity leave payments and changes to family tax benefits, the baby bonus, the Medicare safety net and the private health insurance rebate?


Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —I would say to the honourable member for Indi what I have said to other honourable members who have asked questions in the parliament today, and that is that the government is dealing with the reality of a more than $200 billion reduction in its revenues. Firstly, I would draw the attention of honourable members opposite to this fact: when those opposite were in government, in the lead-up to the last election, the last period they were in office, off the back of the mining boom they had something like a $334 billion revenue windfall. In our first year or so in office we are looking at a $200 billion plus revenue reduction. That is the reality we are contending with; that is the reality you lolled around in. We are going to take hard, tough, necessary decisions to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of our budget. Secondly, we are going to do what we can to support jobs, apprenticeships and small businesses in this virtually unprecedented global economic recession and get on with the business of proper government.


Mr Pyne interjecting


The SPEAKER —I simply say to the member for Sturt that he can go to the dispatch box to raise a point of order, not to intimidate.