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Thursday, 15 May 2014
Page: 3913


Mr BRENDAN O'CONNOR (Gorton) (14:42): My question is to the Prime Minister. The Business Council of Australia's CEO, Jennifer Westacott, has described the government's decision to leave Australians under 30 who cannot find a job with nothing to live on for six months as too tough. Why is the Prime Minister forcing young people into a life of poverty to pay for his deceit?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:42): The budget that was brought down earlier this week is a very important budget for the future of our country. It is designed to create a culture of enterprise. It is designed to ensure that we are not focusing on what people cannot do but on what people can do. Now, the shadow minister obviously was not listening to the very good answer on this very topic that has just been provided by the Minister for Social Services, but I want to say that the—

Mr Brendan O'Connor: On a point of order, Madam Speaker—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will resume his seat. The member for Gorton has the call—on a point of order?

Mr Brendan O'Connor: Yes, on relevance. Don't those young people who will actually have nothing from this government—

The SPEAKER: This is not the time for argument.

Mr Brendan O'Connor: will be getting nothing from this government deserve a Prime Minister—

The SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

Mr Brendan O'Connor: who will give a relevant answer?

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has the call.

Mr ABBOTT: We believe that work-ready youngsters, work-capable youngsters, ought to be either learning or earning; and, as a result of this budget, those who are not working for a wage will have far more opportunity to learn a skill, to go to university, to go to TAFE, because this government is giving them far more opportunity to do so. I believe that this budget embodies the great aspirations of the Australian people, and at the very heart of our national character are two things: first of all, the desire to extend to the more vulnerable members of our community a fair go. This budget absolutely protects the fair-go principle which is so important in this country of ours that we love. Australians also expect the people who can to have a go. That is what this is all about. Those who are not capable of working will continue to be protected, but those who are capable of working will be expected to have a go. They will be expected to be either earning or learning—and that is the way it ought to be.