Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: MACKAY - Tony Abbott’s broken promise on pensions; Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

MACKAY

TUESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2015

 

SUBJECT/S: Tony Abbott’s broken promise on pensions; Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget; Tony Abbott’s $1 billion cut to child care

 

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Great to be in Mackay talking about issues that affect the local region. This morning, people across Australia have woken up to read reports that the Federal LNP Government is considering including the family home in pension tests and for asset tests, to be eligible to receive the pension. Labor will defend the family home against the LNP trying to include it in the assets test for pensions. For a lot of Australians their main asset or security they have in retirement is the family home. They have worked hard their whole life to pay down the mortgage as well as looking after and raising the kids. It is wrong. It is a golden rule of Australian politics, ‘hands off the family home’.

 

Labor will fight to stop the LNP putting their hands on the family homes of pensioners in Australia. There are plenty of pensioners who have bought the home 30, 40 years ago, and what they have seen is that the value of the asset has increased, but obviously they aren’t going to sell the house to pay for the weekly shopping and they shouldn’t be put under this sort of pressure that Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull or Julie Bishop are currently considering for the family home.

 

Labor’s message today to Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop, Malcolm Turnbull or any of the contenders for the leadership, is hands off the family home, and all of the contestants for the leadership of the Liberal Party should make clear their views, that they are not going to touch the family home.

 

JOURNALIST: Why do you think they are now looking to the family home?

 

SHORTEN: The Liberal National Government in Canberra is addicted to unfairness. They haven’t got a clue how real people live their lives. Anyone could tell you that people who have worked hard their whole life to pay down the mortgage, raise their kids in their local communities, the family home is the difference between financial security and not having financial security.

 

JOURNALIST: Child care was high on the agenda this morning. What is Labor’s policy to get down the cost of child care?

 

SHORTEN:  Labor is determined to stop the rise of prohibitive child care fees. When Labor was last in office we put in a lot of extra resources for child care. Tony Abbott and the Liberal National Government in Canberra cut $1 billion from child care. Families, working mums, should not have to make the choice between going to work or having to pay prohibitive child care fees. It is not on, and there is no doubt that child care is one of the big issues for the next federal election.

 

JOURNALIST: We have a new state government over the weekend, do you see Tony Abbott being as cooperative with Annastacia as he was with Campbell Newman?

 

SHORTEN: Well Tony Abbott was too frightened to come to Queensland during the election. I think it is important that he works with the choice of the people of Queensland. The Liberal National Government in Canberra needs to dial down on their cuts to hospitals and their cuts to schools. But at least now Queensland has got a premier and a team who will fight for Queensland against the Liberal Government in Canberra.

 

JOURNALIST: Do you think having Labor in power in Queensland will mean that there is more of a fight for things for Mackay, and the Whitsundays and the Isaac region as well?

 

SHORTEN: There is no doubt that the Whitsundays and Mackay and the Isaac region missed out under the LNP Government. That is why there was such big swings against them in the last state election. What is important here is to make sure that TAFE gets rescued, to make sure there are jobs being created outside the mining sector, I think sugar is a bright prospect for Mackay. Mackay and the region has a great story to tell but it needs to have a government in Brisbane who knows where Mackay is. I am sure with the new Labor members in the region, Mackay will get a square deal from the Government in Brisbane.

 

JOURNALIST: There are a few federal MPs from the LNP around here, have they been put on notice with this Queensland state election result?

 

SHORTEN: The real problem is the LNP MPs from this region are invisible in Canberra. They are just a rubber stamp for the unfair Budget cuts. We are facing the prospect of $100,000 degrees for young people to go to university, that’s not on. Families are seeing cuts of up to $6,000 from the LNP Government in Canberra and also, we see the pension being cut and the GP Tax is still on the table. What the Liberal National Government in Canberra have got to do is realise that ordinary people are doing it hard, cost of living is a real issue and they certainly, certainly would be writing their own unemployment cheque if they continue with putting the family home as part of the assets test for the pension.

 

Thanks everyone.

 

ENDS

 

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