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Monday, 10 November 2008
Page: 10409


Mr SIDEBOTTOM (7:25 PM) —I like the member for Swan very much, but I have a few words of advice: get over it. Cocky was an egg once. You can talk about the past as much as you like. Get with the present. Get real. Just for your information, the latest, hottest Essential Research poll clearly indicates that this government is rated by 56 per cent of respondents as very good to good at keeping interest rates down. With respect to economic management, which you have just spent five minutes trying to trash, 54 per cent say very good to good and, for controlling inflation, 49 per cent—up 11 per cent since the last few polls. Get with it. Cocky was an egg. Your day is done. Get used to it. Start to think again.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr S Georganas)—Order! I ask the member to direct his remarks through the chair.


Mr SIDEBOTTOM —For your information, Mr Deputy Speaker, as well as for the members in this chamber, I would just like to add that, in addition to all those other things that we have tried to incorporate in our Economic Security Strategy, you might like to know that 730,000 part-rate pensioners will receive a boost to their pension because the deeming rate as of Monday, 16 November shall drop from four to three per cent for the first $41,000 of single pensioners’ financial investments or $68,200 for a couple. It will cut from six to five per cent for the balance of financial investments over these amounts. That is one more additional piece of assistance to families.

In my beautiful electorate on the north-west coast of Tassie the Rudd government’s $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy will ensure that some 25,000 pensioners and carers receive lump sum payments to help ease the financial pressure they are currently under while also boosting my local economy. The 9,905 north-west families receiving family tax benefit A will receive a $1,000 payment for each eligible child in their care. In real terms this will help something like 18,659 local children while easing the financial burden on parents in the lead-up to Christmas. When we also factor in the uptake of the increased First Home Owner Grant in my electorate, the direct injection into the Braddon economy as a result of this excellent Economic Security Strategy will be worth more than $62 million. That is $62 million going into my local economy to help support families at a time when things are tough. There is $19 million—and I know you are very interested in this—for north-west families who are eligible, as I mentioned, for the family tax benefit A. They will receive a one-off $1,000 payment for each dependent child and families whose dependent children receive youth allowance, Abstudy or a benefit from the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme payment will receive a one-off $1,000 payment for each eligible child as well.

How the member for Swan and the member before that, the member for Fadden, could say that this was irresponsible is beyond belief. I challenge the member for Fadden to show me the 1,000 signatures that he said he received from pensioners who were unhappy with this government. I would love to see that petition and I bet you he did not receive it after the announcement of this excellent package to assist families and pensioners in particular.

It is worth keeping in mind some of these figures in my electorate. Thirteen thousand age pensioners will benefit. There will be payments to 3,494 carer allowance recipients, 5,646 disability support pensioners, 887 Commonwealth senior healthcare card holders, 113 wife and widow pensioners and bereavement allowance recipients, 1,550 veterans service pensioners and 638 eligible war widows. These are real people receiving a benefit at a time when they need assistance. We are helping real people with a real strategy to overcome what is a financial crisis for our globe.