Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

We’re Listening Joe

As I listened to Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, on ABC’s Insiders this morning I heard that Tony Abbott and the Liberals will:

  • Destroy Labor’s Schoolkids Bonus, hurting 1.3 million families each year. By removing the Schoolkids Bonus – worth $410 a year for each primary school child and $820 a year for each high school child – the Liberals will rip away about $15,000 from a typical family of two while their kids are at school.
  • Not reinstate the Education Tax Refund.
  • Slash up to $600 a year in extra Family Tax Benefit payments from the budgets of more than 1.5 million families.

Mr Hockey today proudly and loudly promised to wreck the household budgets of Australian families.

It’s a shame he didn’t tell families this when he had the chance on Channel 10’s The Project last week, or in the countless radio interviews he’s done recently. He’s right – Australian families do need to hear him, because he’s saying Tony Abbott and the Liberals will hurt them.

Let’s not forget Tony Abbott and the Liberals will also cut the household assistance package which includes tax cuts for workers and increased family payments and pensions.

Mr Hockey once again incorrectly claimed the Schoolkids Bonus is funded by the Minerals Resource Rent Tax. It’s not.

And he broke the Liberals promise to increase the Education Tax Refund, which is currently on their website:

Today’s commitments to cut family assistance, come on the back of a week of chest-beating about the Baby Bonus by Mr Hockey, Mr Abbott and the Liberals.

The one thing Mr Hockey left unsaid this morning was that the Opposition will vote for the Government’s sensible and responsible reduction of the Baby Bonus for second and subsequent children.

Just look at their voting record on previous changes this Government has made to ensure the Baby Bonus is sustainable into the future:

  • On 5 June, 2008, the Opposition voted for a means test on the Baby Bonus.
  • On 29 February 2012, the Opposition voted to re-set the Baby Bonus to $5000.

Keep talking Joe, and we’ll keep listening.