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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 282

Pensions and Benefits

Mr SHORTEN ( Maribyrnong Leader of the Opposition ) ( 14:18 ): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's failure to answer my previous two questions about his cuts to family payments and ask: how can the Prime Minister justify ripping family payments out of the pockets of over one million Australian families and, at the same time, propose $50 billion in a tax giveaway to big business?

Mr TURNBULL ( Wentworth Prime Minister ) ( 14:18 ): The honourable member has failed to recognise that it is our duty to ensure that our social welfare spending is targeted to deliver the greatest support for Australian families, and that is precisely what we are doing and precisely what the minister has just described. We are providing greater security for Australian families in child care so that they have greater opportunities to work, to get out, to stay in the workforce and to stay connected with the workforce.

You would think, given that these reforms will benefit lower- and middle-income families the most, and you would think, given the way they are targeted so equitably and so fairly, that the opposition would support it. But, of course, they do not. They are an opposition without any integrity and without any concern for the livelihoods, for the businesses, that support Australian families. Their recklessness on energy and their negativity on child care stand in the way of getting a better and a fairer deal for Australian families. We will always stand up for hardworking Australian families, providing them with the security that they need, whether it is security of energy or of available and affordable child care, because from that security—and only from that security—springs the opportunity to work, to get ahead, to invest and to realise their Australian dream. That is what we stand for: hardworking Australian families.

The opposition should support us because they know that without that security we will continue to see hardworking Australian families and hardworking Australian businesses put under increasing pressure. We want Australians to get ahead, and we are acting to support them as they do.