Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Labor tells families how to spend their money but refuses to release Family Policy

Title: Labor tells families how to spend their money but refuses to release Family Policy
Article Date: 27/06/2004
Page Content 1:The Labor Party is only too ready to tell Australian families and mothers how they should spend their money but refuses to reveal Labor’s family policy.

The Opposition spokesman on family and community services, Wayne Swan, when asked today on ABC’s Insiders if he would release Labor’s family policy, said:

“We will announce our policy when we are ready “

He confirmed that Labor’s family policy is ready to release, however, Labor is holding it back to avoid public scrutiny.

Mr Swan is telling Australian families and mothers what they should do with their One-off Family Bonus and the new Maternity Payment.

However, he continues to keep Australians in the dark about Labor’s family policy.

Mr Swan does not trust the two million Australian families who are receiving the extra $600 per child lump sum, tax-free bonus payments to spend the money wisely.

He said Labor would insist that families receive the money in instalments.

Mr Swan wants to tell Australian families how they should spend their money.

He said the Howard Government’s new $3000 maternity payment should not be paid as an upfront lump sum to new mothers from July 1.

The difference between the Howard Government and Labor is that we believe families and mothers are in the best position to decide how they will spend their money.

Labor wants to dictate what people should do with their money.

The Howard Government strongly believes in allowing people to choose how they spend their money.

Legislation, which was passed by Labor, clearly provides for the Government’s new maternity payment to be made in fortnightly instalments.

Safeguards in the new maternity payment ensure that mothers who are considered to be at risk can receive the maternity payment in six fortnightly payments and have access to counselling and support services.

Mr Swan is a policy-free zone who continues to come up with excuses why Labor has not released its family policy.

His time would be better spent in releasing and explaining Labor’s policy instead of trying to tell Australian families and mothers how to spend their money.