Thursday, 5 December 2019
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Cormann. I refer to the Prime Minister, who professed:
There’s a Shire expression … We have our own language and if we like something, this is what we say; ‘How good is …
How good does the Prime Minister expect Christmas to be for the 120,000 older Australians his government has failed, who are waiting for the home-care package for which they have already been approved?
As Senator Ayres obviously knows, we have made a further very significant investment into providing additional access to home-care packages. That was eloquently outlined in recent days and over the last week or so by our own Senator Colbeck, the Minister for Aged Care—more than $500 million in additional resources and that is only the beginning. You would be aware that we have a royal commission into aged care underway as we speak. We expect there to be further recommendations. We have provided significant additional funding into supporting access to relevant services for people who require access to aged care, and there will be more to come.
How good does the Prime Minister expect Christmas to be for the almost two million Australians who are looking for work, or for more work, and Australian workers who are struggling with the worst wages growth on record?
The Australian people showed at the election that they can see right through these sorts of Labor lies. I think the Australian people showed at the election that they know a lie when they see one, because 'worst wages growth on record' is manifestly false. Real wages growth today is higher than it was when Labor lost government. So don't come here with these sorts of untruths. In the lead-up to the last election, you tried that and you failed.
Let me tell you that employment growth is significantly stronger under our government than it was under yours. More Australians are in work today than ever before as a result of the policies of our government. Indeed, Australians understand that, if they had chosen another government at the election, more of them would be unemployed, wages would be lower and the economy would be much worse off, which is why you're still sitting on the opposition benches. You still can't accept the fact that you lost the last election.
Honourable senators interjecting—
I am sure it's not my influence, Mr President! How good does the Prime Minister expect Christmas to be for Australians struggling to pay the bills, to put food on the table and to celebrate the holidays on just $40 a day?
For at least 25 years Newstart allowance has been indexed twice a year by CPI. That is under governments of both political persuasions. Labor went to the last election proposing $387 billion of higher taxes. Do you know how much of that they allocated to increasing Newstart allowance? Zero. So don't come in here with your hypocritical statements. After $387 billion in higher taxes, not a single cent, not a zack for providing additional resources for Newstart allowance, so that is just a hypocritical question.