Transcript by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP


Program: Seven News

JENNY MACKLIN: We do recognise that many many families are under very serious mortgage stress. Those people who are trying to save for a home will have the chance to put some money aside into a First Home Saver Account and the Government will put some extra money in so that that deposit can grow more quickly than it currently is. For renters we are going to be constructing with the private sector 50,000 new homes for rental at the lower income end of the market and there is money to drive down the cost of development for new housing development areas so there are some substantial improvements in the housing area. $2.2 billion will go to help make housing more affordable.

ANN SANDERS: You have taken the heat on the decision to means test the baby bonus, the family tax benefit B at $150,000, is that your definition of wealthy?

JENNY MACKLIN: We understand that support should go to families who need it most. These are difficult decisions to make but we have decided that this $5,000 baby bonus should go to those who really do need that extra support when a new baby comes along.

ANNE SANDERS: Working families [inaudible] set up paid maternity leave system?

JENNY MACKLIN: We have given a reference to the Productivity Commission to ask them to do a major inquiry into a paid maternity scheme. They are out having public hearings around Australia right now. They will report to the Government next February and we will certainly look very closely at their recommendations. We understand just how important it is to provide support to mums and dads when a new baby is coming into the family and so we are looking forward to responding to those recommendations next year.

ANN SANDERS: Minister Jenny Macklin thank you for your time this morning.