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Monday, 24 February 2014
Page: 550

Pensions and Benefits


Ms PLIBERSEK (SydneyDeputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:16): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Treasurer's comments on budget cuts, 'All options are on the table.' Considering the Prime Minister's election promise that there would be 'no changes to pensions under an Abbott government', will the Prime Minister rule out any changes to the pension as a result of the Commission of Audit?


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:16): I thank the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development for her question. I do remind her and the House of the scale of the fiscal challenge that members opposite have left us. Under the policies of the former government, we would get $123 billion in cumulative deficits over the forward estimates period; and, under the policies of members opposite, debt was skyrocketing towards $667 billion with $123 billion in accumulated deficit. So there is a big challenge, and we will address it in ways consistent with our pre-election commitments.

Mr Burke: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In order to be directly relevant, the Prime Minister needs to make some relevant mention to the commitment that he made to pensioners. The was a commitment to pensioners, and he is not touching it at all.

The SPEAKER: Has the Prime Minister finished his answer?

Mr ABBOTT: Yes.

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister has finished his answer.