Unfair cuts to family payments; child care changes

KATE ELLIS, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD: Today the impact of Malcolm Turnbull's cuts to families is becoming even clearer. Less than a week after these cuts were unveiled, Scott Morrison has conceded that many families would be hit hard. What we know is that millions of Australian families will be much worse off because of these hits. Hits to low and middle-income Australian families. We also know that the lie has been exposed that these cuts are needed in order to fund the government's child care package. We know this because the Government’s own Senator Sinodinos said that it was a political solution to link the two, and that there is no policy reason why you can’t find savings for child care in other areas of Government. What is becoming very clear is that whilst Labor stood up against Tony Abbott's cuts to families, that millions of Australian families would still be worse off under Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to their payments. And that is why we will continue to point out the impact that this will have on millions of families.

JOURNALIST: Will it have a greater impact on single parents?

ELLIS: What we do know is that grandparents, as well as single parent families with teenage children will be hit particularly hard as a result of these cuts. Now the Government can not argue that these cuts are based on fairness when you consider that it is parents and grandparents who survive on a low or middle income who are being targeted in order to find savings for the Government. This is yet another display that we may have new leadership, but we have the same old policies and the same attacks on the Australians that can afford it the least.

JOURNALIST: That 13 to 16 age bracket, I guess the argument is that perhaps a child of that age wouldn't cost as much as they do when they are first starting off life?

ELLIS: Any parent of teenagers will tell you that children do not get cheaper when they turn 13. And of course we know that this isn’t the only attack on the family budget of (families with) teenagers. They will also be feeling the impacts of the Government’s attacks on the School Kids Bonus. Again we see Australian families being targeted by this Government - and the Australian families who can afford it the least.

JOURNALIST: Is it a better package than what was being offered up previously in the Abbott Government?

ELLIS: Well, I think that is setting the bar pretty low, if we are going to compare against the unfair attacks that the Abbott Government put forward. What we have seen today is that Malcolm Turnbull has his own attacks on Australian families, and those attacks are going to have a major impact on millions of Australians lives.

JOURNALIST: What do you think about Joe Hockey potentially taking up the US Ambassador position and the entitlements that come with that?

ELLIS: I won't comment on Joe Hockey; what he may or may not be doing. We'll leave that for the Government to determine who the best person for that appointment is. But I think that a lot of Australians who were lectured by Joe Hockey, who had threats made to their income, threats made to their payments from Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott's unfair Budgets would be feeling that they are justified in raising an eyebrow. Joe Hockey has lectured Australian families, unfortunately we see that Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull are just the same.