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Larry comes clean!



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Larry Comes Clean!

Wayne Swan - Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services

Media Statement - 8 June 2000

The Acting Minister for Family and Community Services Larry Anthony today confirmed that families who leave work to care for children will be worse off under the New Tax System.

When asked the following question in Parliament today:

Minister, isn't it the case that if John and Wendy ever decide to have another child in a future year, they will still be worse off under your tax package than they would be under the current arrangements?

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Minister, why is the Government placing extra financial burdens on families who have children, or is this just the government's version of a one-child policy? ●

The Acting Minister's answer was absolutely categorical:

'Of course, the accusations that he makes are absolutely flawless, Mr Speaker.' ●

The Acting Minister is right, and it is pleasing to see him finally admit what he has never been prepared to in the past - that a temporary 12 month top-up scheme will never fix a permanent problem.

As the Acting Minister knows, the change in the income test arrangements for parents leaving work to care for children from a fortnightly to an annual income test means that many parents will receive less assistance than they do now.

The simple fact is that parents who would have qualified for partnered parenting payment under the current system, will not qualify for Family Tax Benefit Part B under John Howard's new tax system.

The Government has put a 12 month band-aid on this problem, but even for those who qualify, it will ultimately amount to a one-child policy.

In fact, any parent who stops work to care for a child after June 30 2000 misses out.

In another revealing comment reported in the media today, the Acting Minister defended his policy by saying:

'If you are having a child after [July 1] you are having a child in the new tax system.' ●

I challenge the Acting Minister to again be as frank as in Question Time today, and say what he really means: "it's a rotten tax system, and if you have a kid under it, that's your own fault".

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.