September 08, 2015

SUBJECT/S: Two years of Tony Abbott’s Government, cuts to pensions, cuts to families, Tony Abbott’s spin


JENNY MACKLIN, SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES & PAYMENTS: Thanks everyone. Good to see you on this beautiful Canberra morning.


Yesterday was two years since the election of the Tony Abbott Government and we saw them put out an extraordinary propaganda document that contained a series of lies about pensions, about what this Government has done to pensioners, what they would like to do to pensioners in the future and also tried to completely airbrush from history what this Government is attempting to do to hurt Australian families.


Just on pensioners first, because this document, this propaganda document that Tony Abbott released yesterday, contains some of the most extraordinary statements. It suggests that Tony Abbott is delivering the best indexation system possible for the Australian pensioner.


In fact, what happened was all of last year, Tony Abbott campaigned around the country to cut the indexation of the pension, that would have meant Australian pensioners lost $80 a week over the next decade.


And of course it was Tony Abbott’s dirty deal with the Greens that cut the pension for 330,000 part-pensioners in Australia.


That’s been done, but of course doesn’t get any mention whatsoever in this document.


It was the Abbott Government that cut $1.3 billion dollars in concessions from pensioners. Not mentioned in this document. But pensioners of course know that it was this Government in the dead of night that cut their pension concessions.


It’s this Government that wants to deliver, to Australia, the oldest pension age in the developed world. It’s this Government that wants to lift the pension age to age 70. None of these things mentioned in this propaganda document.


And then let’s have a look at families. Once again, this document makes no mention of the fact that there are $8.5 billion in cuts to family tax benefits stuck in the Senate because Labor and the cross-bench know how important it is to protect the living standards of families. But not Tony Abbott.  No. Not only does he want those cuts to Family Tax Benefits, he is also trying to cut what was supposed to be his signature policy from the last two elections - Paid Parental Leave.


Now he wants to cut Paid Parental Leave from hard working Australian mums and dads and of course this could mean that thousands of Australian parents could be more than 11,000 worse off when they have their newborn babies.


Parents will not be able to spend that really important time with their newborn babies because of the cuts that Tony Abbott is seeking to get through the Senate that attacks Paid Parental Leave.


Remember what he said before the last election, that he wanted his rolled gold Paid Parental Leave scheme that would have delivered huge amounts of Paid Parental Leave to very wealthy women. Well now he has done a complete reverse and wants to cut Paid Parental Leave to some of the lowest income families in the country. It’s just pure political spin form Tony Abbott, nothing that will help pensioners or families.


JOURNALIST: Labor is also trying to use the Senate to force the Governor General to dump Dyson Heydon, isn’t that a political stunt given that for decades the Governor General has listened to the Government, not the Senate, about these sorts of issues?


JENNY MACKLIN: Well these are very very important matters, that we make sure that the Royal Commission is not in fact doing the Government’s business but is doing an important job on behalf of the community.  But I will leave the detail of what is happening in the Senate to my Senate colleagues.


JOURNALIST: But Labor is essentially trying to put the Governor General in an untenable position.


JENNY MACKLIN: I’ll leave the detail to my Senate colleagues. Okay. Thank you.




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