QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE: Family Payments

Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (14:49): My question is to the Prime Minister. Around 19,000 Western Sydney families in the electorate of Chifley will lose up to $4,700 a year because of the Prime Minister's unfair cuts to family payments, and that is before an increased GST raises the price of everything. But, in the Prime Minister's electorate of Wentworth, just 3,000 families will be affected. Why are families in my electorate bearing such a heavy burden for this Prime Minister's unfair cuts and increased taxes?

Mr Pyne interjecting

Mr Morrison interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the House and the Treasurer will cease interjecting.

 

 

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:50): I thank the honourable member for his question. The honourable member knows that the government plans to reform and restructure the family tax benefit to give families more money each fortnight, encourage workforce participation and fund the new childcare system. We have listened to feedback on the original Families Package, and the Minister for Social Services, as the honourable member knows, introduced the revised family payments reform package into the House. We believe that this package strikes the right balance between achieving significant savings—

Mr Husic: How? Nineteen thousand in my electorate, compared to 3,000 in yours.

The SPEAKER: The member for Chifley has asked his question.

Mr TURNBULL: whilst still providing sufficient financial support to those families most in need. The package, when viewed overall, is designed to drive greater employment and to ensure that more families, more mothers, can afford to have child care and be in work. I note that the member for Jagajaga said on one occasion—and I just find it a very characteristically eloquent quote, but I cannot lay my hands on it—that the most important thing that working families need is employment. The member for Jagajaga talked about the importance of child care, particularly the affordability of child care for women in lower paid jobs, and the recalibration of the childcare package is designed to do just that. The member for Jagajaga, who is an acknowledged—at least a self-acknowledged—expert in this area, and I do not doubt it, said that something like this has to be paid for, and it has to be paid for somehow. The changes are designed to pay for what is an improved package that is designed to target benefits at people on lower incomes and ensure that more mothers are able to go to work and to have their kids looked after in child care, enabling them so to do. So that is the objective.

With respect to the member for Jagajaga, she knows that what we have done is crafted a package that will pay for it.

Mr Albanese interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler will cease interjecting.

Mr TURNBULL: It will achieve the objectives she has described. I am disappointed that honourable members opposite do not see this as a very progressive measure that will achieve the objectives that we all share of ensuring higher levels of employment and female participation in the workforce.

The SPEAKER: I remind the member for Hotham that she has been warned.

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley


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