Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Abbott’s Baby Bonus backflip

Another day, another policy backflip from Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, who was today frantically back pedalling from his commitment to remove the means test on the Baby Bonus.

Mr Abbott is so confused he doesn’t know whether he’s Arthur or Martha on the Baby Bonus.

On 3 December 2009, Mr Abbott told the Sydney Morning Herald:

“Whacking the means test on was dead wrong. I’d like to see that means test come off.”

As recently as yesterday Mr Abbott was re-stating his opposition to the Baby Bonus means test:

“…by means-testing [the Baby Bonus], the current government has turned it into a welfare benefit rather than a universal entitlement.” (International Women’s Day Speech, 8 March 2010)

But today on 2GB Mr Abbott has reversed his position.

ALAN JONES: you’re removing the ceiling that the Rudd Government put, a ceiling of $150,000, so the baby bonus is to all women who have babies.

TONY ABBOTT: Well what I’m talking about at the moment is paid parental leave. I’m not revisiting at this point in time the Rudd’s Government decision to put a means test on the baby bonus.

ALAN JONES: I thought you said you’d scrap that yesterday?)

This is more policy confusion from Mr Abbott and more evidence of him talking first and thinking later.

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.