Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016; Second Reading
Thank you, Mr Speaker, I will do it. I think that the Leader of the Opposition has really shown just how important it is to stand up for those who need it most. That is why so many of us were elected to this place—particularly to stand up for those who are the most vulnerable—and he has done that.
We are, of course, also concerned about the Turnbull government's continuing determination to further cut family payments. That will hurt around 1.1 million families in this country and in some cases take thousands of dollars out of the pockets of low- and middle-income families. Labor have made it clear that for those families earning under $80,000 a year in family income we will not agree to any cuts to their family tax benefit A or B end-of-year supplements. It is not fair and, as the Leader of the Opposition has indicated in the past, we will continue to stand up for those families.
I think that is the most important message that I have for the government. We will continue to stand up for vulnerable Australians. That is why we are here. We have done so by securing very important amendments to this bill. Should the government reintroduce legislation to cut family payments further, especially to low-income families, Labor will oppose it and we will oppose any further effort by the government to remove the energy supplement from pensioners, people with disability, carers or the unemployed. We will do everything we can to support the needs of those we have come here to support.