Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

No cuts to family payments

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Larry Anthony today said the debate he had initiated about early childhood intervention should be about what can be done to help Australians become better parents.

“The Government will not be linking family payments to parenting performance,” Mr Anthony said.

“Labor has again sought to muddy the debate and scare families. At no stage have I suggested family payments be cut. Rather, parental responsibility needs to be highlighted and policies around this developed.

“A child is an incredible challenge for many young families, particularly if they do not live close to other relatives.

“What I am saying is that the Government may be able to play a more constructive role in providing advice from how to maintain a good health through pregnancy to nutrition and exercise tips to help curb the alarming rise in childhood obesity.

“As a father of three young children myself, I know there is always more I could learn to become a better parent.

“Research in brain development tells us of the vital importance of the relationship between parent and child. New parents have a wonderful opportunity to help their child reach their full potential.

“Those first few years are so important in ensuring that children do not become entrenched in the welfare or criminal justice systems later in life.

“The Coalition Government’s has a strong record on supporting families. We increased family payments to unprecedented levels with the introduction of the new tax system,” Mr Anthony said.