Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Mayo. Let me be absolutely clear: we made a decision—one of the first decisions after the Prime Minister gave me the opportunity to be in this role—to lift the child dental benefit scheme. This side of parliament lifted the child dental benefit scheme from $700 to $1,000. That was a decision which the Prime Minister took. We were able to work with him and others—the Minister for Finance and the Treasurer. It injected a significant amount, as was recorded in the budget figures only a month ago, of $160 million over the forward estimates to the child dental benefit scheme. It could not have been a stronger commitment, it could not have been a clearer commitment and it could not have been a better funded commitment. This is an important thing.
More than that, we have also been in contact in writing to families throughout Australia. There could not be a stronger statement. In addition to that, we have worked with the Australian Dental Association in spreading the message through dental practices. When you look at all of the different things that we have done, we have added $160 million and we have lifted the child dental benefit scheme from $700 to $1,000.
And let me say this: the Labor Party should be the last people to talk. They ripped billion dollars out of dental benefits by abolishing the chronic dental scheme—care for those Australians with chronic dental conditions. What a bunch of policy frauds. What a bunch of heartless folk on that side. They rip a billion dollars out of the chronic dental scheme and then they look pious.