Thursday, 28 August 2014
Questions without Notice
Madam Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. The coalition promised no new taxes and no cuts to health. I refer to Lauren Allen, a single mother in Canberra whose child has a rare autoimmune condition. What is the impact of the GP tax on people with rare autoimmune conditions and why is the Treasurer making parents like Lauren pay for his government's broken promises?
I thank the honourable member for the question. I obviously understand how challenging it would be for that mother to raise her child. I do not know the particular circumstances that you have provided. Of course, she may well be receiving a single-parent pension and might be receiving carer payments. I am not sure if she is also receiving family tax benefits. I am not familiar with the circumstances. I would be happy to entertain them.
I do note that, if she is a single parent on a pension, it was the previous Labor government that removed 60,000 single mothers from the single-parent pension onto Newstart. In fact, I remember the Leader of the Opposition sidling to me over there and saying, 'Please help me to take 60,000 women off the single mothers pension to put them onto the lesser payment in Newstart.' How about that, Bill? Do you remember that?
So I would say to the honourable member that everything we are doing is about trying to make the welfare and health systems sustainable into the future. Everything we are doing is about ensuring that that lady's child is going to have a better quality of life than might have happened. Everything we are doing is about ensuring that we can try and lift the opportunities for everyday Australians, rather than be in a situation where we end up with a lesser quality of life in the future than that which we enjoy now. That can only happen if, as a generation, we as Australians pay our way. That can only happen if we ensure, as Australians, we live within our means, because we currently have—
Ms O'Neil interjecting—
a health system where the Labor Party buried costs into it that they never provided the money for, and they built a welfare system that has costs built into it which they never provided the money for, and they built an NDIS—which we support—which is not fully funded. The Labor Party went and built a National Disability Insurance Scheme and claimed that they were going to fund it. And, of course, they never fully funded it. We will pick up the pieces of a reckless Labor government. We will ensure that tomorrow is better than today for that lady. And we will ensure that we can sustain our quality of life, sustain our quality of education—
Mr Shorten interjecting—