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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 599

Mr ABBOTT (Leader of the Opposition) (2:01 PM) —My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm that, on the government’s own figures, a family with three children under 12 where one parent works as a correctional officer, on $62,486 a year, and the other parent works as a midwife, on $80,156 a year, will be $620 a year worse off under the Prime Minister’s great big new tax on everything?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —I thank the honourable member for his question, as it goes to the impact of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme on families—a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme which he said only two months ago that he fully supported. The question of cost and compensation goes to the particular circumstances of a family. Let me go through this in some sequence. The Treasury advises that the average cost is expected to be 1.1 per cent in the first two years of the scheme. That is $12 a week or $624 per year for the average family. Secondly, the matter of compensation is provided for under our scheme for some 8.1 million of Australia’s 8.8 million families. Treasury advises that the average compensation for these families is $12.70 per week or $660 per year. There are 2.9 million households that will receive full assistance. Of the 3.7 million middle-income households, 50 per cent will receive full assistance. All middle-income families will receive some compensation. Over 92 per cent of households will receive assistance and, on average, these will receive assistance of around $660, as I mentioned before.

Now to the honourable member’s question concerning the family circumstances to which he has just referred. As he knows, and as the shadow Treasurer and others would know, the particular income profiles and compensation profiles of individual circumstances will depend on a dozen or so different variables. For families these will include, for example, the relative income split between one partner and another and, secondly, the number of children in a family. The third variable in all this is, of course, the government payments and allowances that the family may be receiving—for example, family tax benefit A or B, the age pension, the disability pension, carer payments, the veterans services pension, the war widows pension, unemployment benefits, student and youth allowances and eligibility for the low-income tax offset. These are all the variables which affect an individual family’s circumstances.

I will also say that if the honourable Leader of the Opposition would refer to the government’s white paper he would see that it makes reference to a transitional fund available for any family that is not compensated according to the government’s stated commitments. That is made plain there.

Finally, can I say in relation to this that full details on the CPRS household assistance package are on the relevant climate change website. Tables there show the impact on, and assistance for, the 27 different household types most common in Australia. Each type has more than 25 different income levels. Altogether, therefore, the tables refer to 600 different household scenarios. These are publicly available on the government’s website.