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Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Page: 12262

Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (15:14): Madam Speaker, I wish to add to an answer.

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer may proceed.

Mr HOCKEY: In question time the member for McMahon asked me—

Mr Bowen: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

The SPEAKER: Regarding what?

Mr Bowen: Regarding whether this is appropriate or not, given that we have moved on from question time. The time in which ministers have an opportunity to add to an answer—

The SPEAKER: He can add to add to an answer at any time.

Mr Bowen: is prior to personal explanations and prior to moving onto other business. We have moved onto other business.

The SPEAKER: The member will resume his seat. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr HOCKEY: I wish to add to an answer that was asked of me by the member for McMahon. He asked me about private health insurance and my comments this morning on ABC AM when I said:

For example, the Labor Party's changes to private health insurance. We let that pass through the Parliament because we knew the budget had to be fixed.

He challenged that. With respect to the announcement in the 2012-13 MYEFO, which was about the private health insurance rebate amount being increased by the lesser of CPI or the commercial premium increase, which was a $700 million saving, we in fact let pass the House. In fact, here is a speech from Tania Plibersek, saying:

I thank the members of the opposition and, indeed, the members of the crossbenches who will be supporting the Private Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (Base Premium) Bill 2013.

That is fact No. 1. Fact No. 2: today on ABC 24 Capital Hill, the member for McMahon said:

Well, with alcopops there was a broad indication of support that this would eventually pass the parliament.

I refer him to the budget in reply speech of the leader of the Liberal Party in 2008 when he said:

This is nothing more than a tax binge falsely presented to Australians as something it is not, and that is why we are angry about it and that is why we will oppose it.

You have got to get your facts right, sweetheart!

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will withdraw that last comment.

Mr HOCKEY: I did not mean to reflect on the chair, Madam Speaker. I withdraw.

The SPEAKER: And the Treasurer will take it on notice that he will not abuse the right to add to an answer in the future.