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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 604

Mr ANDREWS (2:22 PM) —I ask the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to confirm that a maritime worker on over $125,000 whose wife is a stay-at-home mum looking after two dependent children, one aged six to 12 years and the other aged between 13 and 15, will be a massive $950 a year worse off under your great big new tax on everything.

Ms MACKLIN (Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) —It is impossible to answer a question when a child is aged ‘six to 12 years’, but leaving that to one side I think it does demonstrate one thing, which is that the opposition has no intention of helping any family, no matter what the age of the children. Of course, what we are doing is recognising that families come in all shapes and sizes—except not children aged ‘six to 12 years’! What we are doing—

Opposition members—That’s how you describe them!

Ms MACKLIN —The government, through its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, is certainly proposing to use a wide range of mechanisms to provide support, and that is going to be cash assistance to low- and middle-income families. As the Prime Minister indicated before, we expect the average price impact to be 1.1 per cent, and the average impact for families—

Ms Julie Bishop —It’s always so complex, isn’t it?

Ms MACKLIN —I beg your pardon?

The SPEAKER —Order! The minister will ignore the interjections. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will cease interjecting. The minister has the call.

Ms MACKLIN —The impact for families of our assistance will be in fact 2.5 per cent. So the average impact on the costs for families is 1.1 per cent; the average level of—

Mr Andrews —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I did not ask about averages. Is this family going to be $950 worse off? It is no joke. Answer the question!

The SPEAKER —The minister will resume her seat. The member for Menzies knows full well that is not the way to approach a point of order and he is warned. The minister has the call. She is responding to the question.

Ms MACKLIN —The big difference is this government intends to provide assistance to families as they meet the costs of climate change. The Liberal Party is providing none.

Mr Andrews —Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table the document with the government’s own tables, which stipulate ‘a child aged six to 12 years’.

Leave not granted.