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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 280

Pensions and Benefits

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:10): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's failure to answer my previous question about family payments. When will the Prime Minister admit that over one million Australian families will have their family payments cut because of the legislation the government introduced today? How can the Prime Minister stand there and pat himself on the back for attacking the living standards of over a million Australian families?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:11): I know the honourable member is not a master of detail, but let us be quite clear about this: our childcare reform will benefit directly almost one million Australian families. The greatest beneficiaries will be families on low and middle incomes. It delivers the highest rate of subsidy—85 per cent—to those who need it most, those earning around $65,000 or less. It would mean a working family on an income of $60,000 a year would pay around $15 a day for child care. This is enabling more Australian parents, more Australian mothers and fathers, to stay in work, to stay connected to the workforce, to be able to balance the obligations of family and the need—both economic and professional and in every other way—to stay engaged in the workforce.

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition on a point of order?

Mr Shorten: Relevance. This is the second question in a row to the Prime Minister where I have asked about family payments. Why won't you talk about the cuts to family payments? What—

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr TURNBULL: The honourable member talks about relevance. The only things that he regards as especially irrelevant are the needs, the jobs, the budgets, of Australian families. If he thought they were relevant, he would not have a set of reckless policies the only object of which is to put businesses out of business, to send families to the wall. He has no concern for the economic consequences of the reckless ideological policies he pursues. The Labor Party has pursued them nationally and at state level, and, if you want to see what Labor's ideological, reckless approach to energy delivers, then visit South Australia, and there you will see it: the most expensive and the least reliable energy in the country. We are defending, supporting and securing the opportunities of hardworking Australian families. The opposition has lost touch with them, just as the Leader of the Opposition lost touch with his own members. He sold the members of the AWU out when he was a union leader, and now he is selling them out as an opposition leader.

Mr Perrett interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Moreton is warned.