Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013; In Committee
With that clarification earlier, I did not make our position clear on the reasons for that, so I will take this opportunity, with this consequential amendment, if that is okay with you.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: Yes, Senator Siewert.
The Greens, as just indicated, are supporting this amendment. We have similar amendments. To be clear, this is about splitting that particular schedule, because that schedule does two things: it freezes the indexation on family tax benefit A and B—in fact, continues that freeze—and also deals with the childcare amendment. We have split that off. We are dealing with the freezing of the indexation of the childcare amendment, because that will have very significant consequences—whereas the indexation and family tax A and B is continuing that freeze on the upper limit. We thought that was reasonable, in the circumstances, but the freezing of the indexation of the childcare rebate is not reasonable. It impacts on hundreds of thousands of families, parents and their children. So we do not think that is an appropriate measure for the government to be taking.
An honourable senator interjecting—
And, as my colleague just said, it is a break of promise. We also circulated amendments last year opposing the split of this particular schedule, so it could be dealt with in two parts. This is essentially what we are doing now.