Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Abbott’s double backflip on families

Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, today backflipped on yet another commitment he has made to Australian families.

Mr Abbott today added removing the means test on the Baby Bonus to the long list of promises he is walking away from. He says one thing and does another.

Every time Mr Abbott speaks, families will not know if they get the ‘gospel truth’ or a heat of the moment throw away line from Phoney Tony.

Families need certainty to plan for the future, not misleading statements from Mr Abbott.

Today on ABC radio Mr Abbott said he wouldn’t remove the Baby Bonus means test.

‘Um, that’s not a commitment that I can make at this time.’ (ABC Capricornia, 18 May 2010)

This follows Mr Abbott’s repeated commitment to remove the means test:

‘Whacking the means test on was dead wrong. I’d like to see that means test come off.’ (Sydney Morning Herald, 3 December 2009) And again in response to Steve Price on MTR:

PRICE: ‘You believe the baby bonus should stay untouched?’

ABBOTT: ‘I do, and it shouldn’t have been means tested the way the Government has.’ (MTR 1377, 4 May 2010)

This was clearly another meaningless commitment made in the ‘heat of discussion’.

This latest backflip follows Mr Abbott’s statements last week about doubling the Australian Government’s Baby Bonus to $10,000.

First he denied the plan even existed and then wouldn’t rule it out, saying:

‘I’m not going to rule things in and rule things out…’ (ABC AM, 14 May 2010)

Last night, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey admitted to another Phoney Tony fib when he ruled out the $10,000 payment:

‘No, we can’t take it into this election.’ (ABC Q&A, 17 May 2010)

Families know that Mr Abbott cannot be trusted on family policy. By contrast, the Government is committed to a fair family payment system that targets family support to lower and middle income families.