PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 17 JUNE 2015
SUBJECT/S: Liberal and Greens filthy pension deal; national security legislation
JOURNALIST: News last night that the Greens will vote with the Government to get the pension changes through, what does that say for you about this relationship?
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Well I’m really concerned that the Greens have had the wool pulled over their eyes. On the one hand, what the Government is doing its slugging 330,000 pensioners, complete breaking of their promise where they said they’d be no changes to pensions and in the next 10 years there’s nearly a million Australians who, or nearly half the people who are retired, nearly a million Australians who will not be able to access the pension because of the Tony Abbott/Greens deal, and the Greens say they’ve got this marvellous deal because somehow they think Tony Abbott’s going to start cracking down on multimillionaires and superannuation. The Greens have been conned by Mr Abbott and a million Australian’s are worse off because of this dirty deal.
JOURNALIST: There’s suggestion this morning that cabinet ministers have not been shown the Solicitor-Generals advice on the citizenship law changes, is that alarming?
SHORTEN: Another day, more dysfunction in the Abbott Government. The idea that we are trying to work through laws to do with our national security and Mr Abbott’s own ministers haven’t seen one of the opinions behind it, I have grave concerns that Mr Abbott’s Government are proposing changes which are simply incompetent and won’t survive in the courts. The Government needs to put forward its proposed legislation and work with the Opposition so together we can make the best laws possible to protect Australians.
JOURNALIST: Scott Morrison’s had success negating with Richard Di Natale over the pensions, are you worried you’re being out-negotiated on some of these fronts, Budget battle grounds?
SHORTEN: I’ve never been worried about being out-negotiated by a dud deal. It think what’s Mr Abbott’s done is he’s done is he’s tricked the Greens into voting for something which is going to hurt hundreds of thousands of pensions now, but there’s a lot of Australians between the age of 50 and 65 who are working hard to assemble some modest savings and perhaps access a part pension. What the Government and Greens have done is they’ve made life harder not only for current part pensioners for nearly a million Australians who have the rugged pulled from under them by a dirty deal between the Greens and Mr Abbott.
JOURNALIST: You announced your counter offer yesterday, had you taken that to the Greens as yet?
SHORTEN: Well we had no idea the Greens were going to do a dirty deal and be conned by Mr Abbott. We think very clearly that what needs to happen here is that we need to have a system where if you’ve got multiple millions in retirement in superannuation you don’t need taxpayers to be funding people who are already multimillionaires yet at the same time we don’t think that the Government should be rewarded for breaking its promise to pensioners.
The message out of today’s deal between the Greens and Mr Abbott is that Tony Abbott’s coming for your pension and that there is an absolute commitment on the part of the Labor Party to stop Mr Abbott touching people’s pensions.
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