Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Mr Swan Has Policy Deficit Syndrome

Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today expressed her disbelief at Labor’s continual willingness to mislead the Australian public on the facts about payments to families.

“Labor’s behavior on this issue is shameful,” said Senator Vanstone today after Question Time.

“Labor have been repeatedly provided with the facts that demonstrate that families of all sizes received substantial increases in their payments with the introduction of the New Tax System.

“I know that Mr Swan must be feeling a bit left out on this issue because Labor have not got any polices of their own. But deliberately misleading and scaring families is a disgraceful way of seeking attention. It is a clear case of policy deficit syndrome.

“Mr Swan is living in la-la land.

FACT: large low income family, for example with one principle income of $33,000 and 7 children under 11, received an extra $55 a week in family assistance payments on 1 July 2000 when compared with what they would have received under the old system on 30 June 2000.

FACT: the Coalition’s tax cuts meant that such a family’s disposable income is now $72 per week higher than it was prior to tax reform.

FACT: new Family Tax Benefit payments will be indexed on 1 July 2001 to take account of inflation.

“It is also worth remembering that families in similar circumstances receive over $23,000 in family assistance.”