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Monday, 13 February 2012
Page: 857

Economy


Ms HALL (ShortlandGovernment Whip) (15:03): My question is to the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Minister for Indigenous Reform. Minister, could you outline to the House how the government is building a strong economy to deliver for families?


Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) (15:03): I thank the member for Shortland for her question and also for her advocacy for working families, which is certainly very much appreciated in her electorate. It is the case that this government will deliver a surplus so that we can continue to deliver for working families. We understand how important it is to make sure that we help families balance their household budgets. That is why this government said that we would increase support for childcare costs, and we have delivered it. It is why this government said we would help working families with the cost of education, and we have delivered it and we are now extending that assistance to help with the cost of school uniforms. It is why this government has decided and is delivering increased help for those families who have older teenagers—never done by those opposite, but delivered this year from 1 January to those families with teenagers aged between 16 and 19 years who are still at school. Those families are getting up to $4,200 extra a year as a result of this Labor government that is determined to help working families and make sure their children get a great education. And it was this Labor government that decided to introduce the country's first national Paid Parental Leave Scheme. It is this government that has made sure that families do not have to make difficult choice that they had to make under the previous government about whether or not they had to go back to work or could spend time with their newborn baby.

What we have seen from those opposite is, first of all, that they are not any longer determined to deliver a surplus. What we saw from the Leader of the Opposition yesterday is that he is still determined to spend $4.5 billion a year on his version of paid parental leave and at the same time whack a great big new tax on companies to pay for it. That is what this Leader of the Opposition is all about—whacking at a great big new tax on companies to find $4.5 billion, and not deliver a surplus. And while he is at it he is going to take money out of the pockets of pensioners and families to help cover the $7 billion black hole.

The SPEAKER: Order! The minister will be directly relevant. The call is now given to the honourable member for Gilmore.