Thursday, 10 December 2020
Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Extension of Coronavirus Support) Bill 2020; Consideration of Senate Message
I want every single person on the other side of this House to listen to what I've got to say, because this is your parting message to the people of this country—the people who have lost their jobs and the people who are unemployed. The Prime Minister's decision to oppose this amendment is a rotten Christmas present for 1.8 million Australians. It's cruel and it's an insight into the true nature of the government. By opposing this amendment, the government is telling Australians that the rate of unemployment payments will go back to the old Newstart rate in March—no ifs, no buts. In the other place, the government told Labor that you would support this amendment when it came back to the House, but you've reneged. That's what you've done: you've reneged. What does that say about this government? What does it say about this Prime Minister? Let's reflect on what this amendment will actually do.
A government member interjecting—
You might think it's funny, but people who are unemployed won't, friend. They just won't. So I suggest that you listen to what I've got to say. What does it say about this Prime Minister? Let's reflect on what this amendment will actually do. It will allow the minister to continue paying the coronavirus supplement after March next year. By refusing to accept this amendment, the government is saying that they do not even want the option of helping people who have lost their jobs. He is not the daggy dag he pretends to be—quite the opposite. This is another chance for the government to do the right thing, and, yet again, they have done the wrong thing by the Australians who need them the most.
Question agreed to.