House debates

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Questions without Notice


3:02 pm

Photo of Daniel MulinoDaniel Mulino (Fraser, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Social Services. How will the Albanese Labor government 's proposed tax cuts help working families and complement existing measures in the social services portfolio that are providing cost-of-living relief?

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Fraser for that question. I appreciate his advocacy for families in Fraser, and right across the country.

The Albanese government's No. 1 priority is supporting Australians faced with cost-of-living pressures. We know many working families are feeling the pressure, and we, as a government, are working hard to deliver meaningful relief. On 1 July, Labor will deliver a tax cut for every Australian taxpayer. These tax cuts will make a real difference to the 13.6 million Australians right up and down the income ladder. This is good news for Australian workers and families, allowing them to keep more of what they earn.

Take a dual-income family: one parent works full-time earning $80,000 and the other works part-time earning $45,000. Under Labor's plan this family will get a tax cut of $2,483. That is more than twice the amount they would have received under the Morrison plan. More money in their pocket from Labor's tax cuts—

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Groom is warned.

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

comes alongside the extra support we are giving to families through our historic investment in paid parental leave, the biggest since Labor introduced it in 2011. Since last year, we've given more families access to the payment, introducing a more generous $350,000 family income limit and made it much easier for both parents to share care. And from July this year we're expanding the scheme by an extra six weeks, reaching six months in 2026. When fully rolled out, that is an extra $5,000 more in the family budget.

We've also targeted cost-of-living relief to families on the lowest incomes. We've listed the base rate for working age and student payments, and we've expanded the eligibility of the single parent payment until their youngest child turns 14, up from eight. The latest data shows that this has already helped 77,000 single parents. At the same time, we are delivering the biggest boost to rent assistance in more than 30 years, which is also helping to moderate rent rises. For families, this complements the government's extra support in delivering electricity bill relief, cheaper child care, cheaper medicines and investments in bulk-billing.

When it comes to tackling the cost of living, we on the side of the House take it seriously. It is clear that those opposite have given up. They have given up when it comes to cost of living. They have abandoned the territory. They never wanted the tax cuts for middle- and low-income Australians. They never wanted electricity relief. They never wanted income support. We will get on with the job. (Time expired).