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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 534

Pensions and Benefits

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:20): My question is to the Prime Minister. Kelly is a mum from Ballarat with three children in school aged seven, eight and 11. Kelly says that she relies on family payments to keep her car on the road, which she says is her only means of getting her children to and from school. The Prime Minister's cuts to family payments mean that Kelly will lose around $1,000 a year. Why is the Prime Minister taking money from families like Kelly's but still persisting with a $50 billion tax giveaway to large businesses, big banks and multinationals?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:21): I assume the business tax cuts that the honourable member referred to are the ones that in 2012 he said delivered productivity, investment, jobs and economic growth. This Leader of the Opposition says one thing in one place and another in another place, depending on what the audience is and whether it suits him.

The simple fact of the matter is this: What we are doing is ensuring that hardworking families get more support with more affordable and available child care. We met some of them just this morning. I met Annette this morning. She has a two-year-old son, Hugo, who uses three days of child care. She will be able to use more now, and she will be able to work more and stay more engaged in the workforce. And Kate, who has a two-year-old daughter, Anna, and a five-year-old son, Ben. They will benefit from our child-care package.

Under our package, a family earning $50,000 a year—

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition on a point of order.

Mr Shorten: My point of order goes to relevance. My question was about people receiving family payments and school-age children. The Prime Minister keeps talking about child care, but he does not talk about families with kids at school.

The SPEAKER: I have heard the Leader of the Opposition's point of order. There are a number of aspects to the question. The question asked a number of things. There were. I am not going to be told there were not. I am sitting here with a summary of the question. It referred to company tax cuts; it had a preamble at the start; it talked about big business, banks, family payments and why the government is making cuts. Having considered all that, the Prime Minister is in order.

Mr TURNBULL: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Our Families Package and the child-care package are absolutely fair and ensure that funding goes where it can produce the best outcomes for all Australian families. On the phasing out of the end-of-year supplements, we have been very honest about that. We took that policy to the election. These are end-of-year supplements that are no longer fit for purpose. They were introduced at a time when mistakes or miscalculations were much more common. That is not the case now. We are replacing them with a much more generous and more affordable and available child-care system and $20 a fortnight extra per child for those receiving that family tax benefit. That means families get the money when they need it the most during the year, not simply at the end of the year. We are putting money into the pockets of Australian families with children to ensure that they can meet their household expenses and, above all, that more children get the benefit of that early learning and child care and that more mothers and fathers are better able to balance work and family and stay engaged in the workforce. That is of critical importance to every Australian family and every Australian parent.