Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Will the minister outline to the House the supports this government is providing to Australian families to help them give their children the best start in life? What would the impact of not providing this support be?
I thank the member for Bass for his question. He knows that this Labor government is determined to do everything it possibly can to support families to give their children the best start in life. We know that Australian families take this responsibility very seriously, and so does this Labor government.
It is this Labor government that introduced Australia's first paid parental leave scheme—never delivered by those opposite. Now, as a result of us delivering this first paid parental leave scheme, 100,000 Australian families have registered for paid parental leave and their children, their newborn babies, are getting the benefit of paid parental leave.
It is this Labor government that is delivering on 1 January significant increases to family tax benefit part A for those families with older teenagers who continue on in secondary school—once again, never delivered by those opposite. Those opposite seem to think that when your child reaches 16 they do not cost as much—which demonstrates just how out of touch those opposite are with the needs of working families in this country. It is this Labor government that will make sure that Australian families with older teenagers who are still going to school will get up to around $4,000 extra, and that will start on 1 January.
This Labor government is delivering for Australian families and making sure that we support those families as they balance their budgets and as they care for their children. We are the government that understands that, for all Australian families, the most important thing that they can do for their children is be great role models by not only going out to work every day but also making sure that they show their children that this is the best way to be responsible in the future. And 750,000 more Australians have got a job because of this Labor government—something that we know is so critical to the future of children in this country. And it is this Labor government that will also make sure that, as we deliver a price on carbon, we also deliver increased support for families and increased support for Australian pensioners.
What do we hear from those opposite? All we hear from this Leader of the Opposition is that he wants to say no. He is saying that it is a 'blood oath' that he is going to take money out of the pockets of Australian families, out of the pockets of pensioners—because he wants to cut the pension increase and cut the family payment increase. All he can say is no, no, no. That is all he can say.
Government members interjecting—