THURSDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2017
SUBJECT/S: International Women’s Day; Government’s omnibus shambles; Malcolm Turnbull’s unfair cuts to families and pensioners; Malcolm Turnbull holding the NDIS hostage.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning everybody. A very good function this morning. The Parliament of this country must do more to ensure the equal treatment of women in our society, in particular, tackling the scourge of family violence. I think it is long overdue for the Government to reverse its cuts to front-line services. Women who go through the criminal justice system and the domestic violence legal system should have the support of legal representation. Women should not be able to be cross examined by the perpetrators of the violence against them. This is basic decency and I think it's long overdue to stand up for Australian women who have suffered from family violence. Happy to take questions.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, the Government isn't ruling out splitting up its omnibus bill to get it through, do you think they might have a chance?
SHORTEN: Well what's this, plan four, plan five from the Government in the space of a week? First of all the Government has said that the only way they can pay for any changes in child care is to punish families who are receiving modest payments of school aged children. So that was their first plan. Their second plan was to take the National Disability Insurance Scheme hostage and say that you can either look after people with disabilities or you can look after families and pensioners but you can't do both. Then yesterday, Scott Morrison and the Prime Minister let the cat out of the bag and they've said that the only way that they can pay for their $50 billion tax cut for large companies is by making every Australian pay more taxes. Now today they want to chop up their bill and look at different matters. This is a Government in search of a plan, but let’s be really clear here; Labor does not support slugging pensioners, Labor does not support slugging low paid families and taking small amounts of money off them and Labor does not support doing this in particular, because we don't support going after the less well off in our society to pay for Mr Turnbull's unaffordable, $50 billion corporate tax give away to large wealthy companies including the big banks.
JOURNALIST: [inaudible] has reached the D Day I guess, for the cap on the child care rebate. Are you worried that they’ll turn against you because of your decision to block the child care reforms?
SHORTEN: We're up for working on child care reform let me be perfectly clear about that; we will work with the Government on child care reform. But this is a Government who when they can't get their way are nothing better than a pack of bullies. Because what the Government has said is the only way you can help parents and children of child care age is to undermine the National Disability Insurance Scheme, or ask pensioners to give up $14 a fortnight in energy supplement. Why is it that the Government is setting one group in society against another group, but they're still obsessed about giving $50 billion to large corporations. If Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison are having trouble finding ways to pay for their child care bill of $1.6 billion, maybe they don't need to give giant companies a tax cut.