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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 544

Pensions and Benefits


Ms KATE ELLIS (Adelaide) (14:55): My question is to the Prime Minister. In September of last year the government announced more than $3 billion for its child-care policy—

Mr Fletcher: Weren't you going to end the double drop-off? That was a great policy, wasn't it, Kate?

Ms KATE ELLIS: but legislation introduced by the government just yesterday—

The SPEAKER: The member for Adelaide will resume her seat. The Minister for Urban Infrastructure will cease interjecting. He was warned yesterday; he is warned again today. The member for Adelaide will begin her question again.

Ms KATE ELLIS: My question is to the Prime Minister. In September last year the government announced more than $3 billion for its child-care policy, but legislation introduced by the government yesterday showed that this policy has now shrunk to a $1.6 billion policy, half of the original amount that was promised by the Prime Minister. Why is the Prime Minister still making pensioners, new mums and over 1½ million Australian families pay for his shrinking child-care package at the same time as giving a $50 billion corporate tax cut to big business?






Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:57): I thank the honourable member for her question. She comes from the great state of South Australia, struggling all too often in the dark: struggling with 41-degree temperatures; struggling with businesses that cannot get reliable or affordable power. I would commend the ABC's online news site to the honourable member today. One small-business owner after another, many in her electorate, is saying how they are being put out of business by the ridiculous Labor energy policies in South Australia. That is the reality: a state that is struggling to get more investment, more industry, is being put out of business by Labor's policy.

In terms of child care, what we are delivering is exactly what we promised. We are delivering precisely the benefits that we promised to Australian families, and it will mean, for example, that a family earning $65,000 a year will have 85 per cent child-care costs paid. It will cost $15 per child. That is a huge saving for those families, making child care more affordable and available.

In terms of the budgetary matters she mentioned, I will ask the Treasurer to add to that.


Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:58): Only the Labor Party could complain about the fact that things do not cost as much as they were first estimated. They want it to actually cost more. What we inherited from those opposite was the exact same model for child care that was used by those opposite when the original estimates were put together for this package, when it was first introduced in the 2015-16 budget. What is a tragedy here, with our child-care reforms, is that if those opposite had supported the savings that we put forward for two budgets—if they had supported them then—those child-care reforms would be available right now. What we see from those opposite is not a Leader of the Opposition who has a stop-go sign; it is a stop-stop sign on every single thing that we bring into this parliament.

Only the Labor Party could complain about the fact that we are delivering exactly the same reform at a lesser cost, which not only ensures that we can deliver the important childcare reforms but we can maintain our trajectory to return the budget back to balance, which is currently projected to be reached in 2021. They are the party of higher prices for child care, bigger deficits, higher taxes and larger debt.