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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2768

Bank Deposits

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (14:02): My question is to the Prime Minister. I ask the Prime Minister to update the House on action being taken to ensure that the money in Australians' bank accounts is secure.

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:02): I thank the member for Casey for his excellent question and for the excellent work he does in this area protecting people from the ravages of the Labor Party.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler will desist!

Mr ABBOTT: That is what this government is doing all the time. We are cleaning up Labor's mess. We have repealed the carbon tax, which means every household is on average $550 a year better off. We have repealed the mining tax, which means that Australia is once more a safe place to invest.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Moreton!

Mr ABBOTT: We have stopped the boats, which means that hundreds of people are no longer dying at sea. We are rolling out the National Broadband Network. Thanks to the good work of the Minister for Communications it is on schedule and on budget. We have the royal commission cleaning up the mess of union governance, which the Labor Party is still trying to obstruct and protect. And we are fixing the Leader of the Opposition's own personal cash grab, which he put in place when he was the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation.

The only thing that members opposite are good at is thinking up new ways to grab your money. That is the only thing they are good at. They said they were going to deliver a surplus.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Sydney will desist!

Mr ABBOTT: They knew their spending was absolutely out of control, so what did they do? They thought of the child's piggy bank, they thought of the widow's cookie jar and they went in to grab it. All you needed was a bank account that had been inactive for three years and Bill Shorten would trouser the money. Under the rules in place, some $70 million a year went to ASIC. Under the Leader of the Opposition's rules, all of a sudden a half a billion dollars was trousered by the government. Fully 156,000 accounts were seized by the government.

Isn't it so typical of the Labor Party. They look at your money, they envy it, they grab it, and then they make you go through six months of bureaucracy to get back what has always been yours. That is the Labor Party. Last year the Leader of the Opposition was asked about this bizarre policy he had put in place as Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, and he said, 'This is about protecting people's savings to ensure it's not eroded by bank fees and charges.' So, to stop the banks taking a little bit of your money, the Leader of the Opposition took it all. That is what he thinks protecting you is. When he said that, several Labor shadow ministers said privately that they were embarrassed. They have every right to be embarrassed. You just cannot trust the Leader of the Opposition with anyone's money.