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Thursday, 15 May 2014
Page: 3926


Ms MACKLIN (Jagajaga) (15:36): One thing is for sure: the Australian people know that this Liberal government is all about destroying Medicare, just like all the Liberal governments we have seen since it began 40 years ago. In the days leading up to the budget, we heard the Prime Minister saying that this budget would be about pain with a purpose. We are very clear now what that purpose was. The purpose was plainly to make it harder for Australian families to make ends meet. The purpose was plainly to destroy the fair go that Australian pensioners have seen for generations. The purpose was plainly to end the Australian way of life as we know it.

This Prime Minister is inflicting the pain of this budget following so many broken promises. We saw him come into question time again today and deny broken promise after broken promise. Many Australian families are going to be up to $5,000 a year worse off. Each and every one of those members opposite are going to have to go back to their electorates and defend to their constituents that they are taking $5,000 out of the pockets of those families. That is what this Liberal government is doing.

They will also have to face up to each and every pensioner who was told before the last election there would be no change to pensions, that there would be no cuts to pensions. Of course, now pensioners know that, as a result of this budget, they will have their pensions cut. And, of course, young Australians know that, as a result of this budget, they have been deserted. They have been deserted by this government that will leave many vulnerable young Australians with absolutely nothing to live on for six months. That is exactly what this government is doing. It is a cruel government and it is a cruel budget.

So many of the promises were made before the last election. The member for Ballarat has outlined so clearly that each and every person who goes to the GP will have to pay $7. Seven dollars for a GP visit—how is that going to impact on the families of this country when they have two or three kids who all get sick at the same time? Seven dollars adds up, and add on the cost of the medicines that parents are going to have to pay for. Families on family tax benefit part B are going to lose family tax benefit part B when their youngest child turns six. It was called out by former Prime Minister Howard today, making it clear that those families are going to pay that as an increased tax. So many people are going to be affected by so many of the changes that have been made and that will affect the standard of living of Australians.

I hear people saying that pensioners are not going to face a cut. Let us once again look at what Mr Howard had to say. The former Prime Minister understood the need for the pension to actually keep up with the standard of living of other Australians. It was not only the former Prime Minister; it was also the current Minister for Social Services. He understood how important it was to have a wages benchmark so that the pension kept up with the standard of living of other Australians. But that is not going to happen with this budget. Every single pensioner is going to face a cut because of this budget.

But the worst thing in this budget is what this government is doing to young people. People under 30 who cannot find a job and who want to be on Newstart or youth allowance are going to face six months without anything to live on. That is what each of you are going to have to front up to in each and every one of your electorates as these young people face months of nothing. (Time expired)