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Thursday, 24 June 2004
Page: 31523

Mr SWAN (2:28 PM) —My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. Can the minister give a guarantee to the many families who have purchased essential household items and children's clothes with their $600 payment that none of them will be forced to return these items after the election because of the government clawback clause in its family payment legislation? Minister, isn't the government's one-off payment like a buy now, pay later scheme? Given his last answer, is the minister going to send them a bill after they have voted?

Mr ANTHONY (Minister for Children and Youth Affairs) —The ALP are totally desperate, aren't they? As I said in my previous answer, I really think this is sour grapes, because it has been this government—the Howard-Anderson government—through good economic management, particularly by our Treasurer, that have been able to deliver this dividend back to Australian families. The only thing Australian families have to worry about if they purchase items, anticipating that they are going to receive more family tax benefit in the future is the member for Lilley and the Australian Labor Party. They have refused to guarantee that $600 payment from 2005 into the future. This is the whole facade. Last week, it was not enough; this week, too much. What we do know is that the Australian Labor Party have still not come up with any family policies.

Mr ANTHONY —So now families should not be receiving it. Now the member for Lilley is suggesting that families, even in his own electorate, should not be receiving this payment. Is that what you are suggesting?

The SPEAKER —Order! Minister!

Mr ANTHONY —Mr Speaker, I know it is not you suggesting that, but the member for Lilley is. The fact is that, if Australian families are concerned about the family tax benefit, their concern should be directed to the Australian Labor Party, who are going to claw it back through the Latham lunge next year—if ever they have control of the Treasury benches—and take that $600 payment away from them.