Mr GILES (Scullin) (13:33): I rise this afternoon to speak in defence of families in the Scullin electorate and defend their standard of living against this government's cruel cuts and budget of broken promises. The Prime Minister said that he would help families with the real cost of raising children, but he has cut $7.5 billion in family payments, cuts that will leave some families in my electorate and elsewhere $6,000 a year worse off. Families right across Australia have every right to feel betrayed by this government. Where were these cuts promised prior to the election?
Families in Scullin, especially in our growing areas, struggle with the challenges of living in these growing communities: a lack of public transport, high fuel costs—increased by this government's petrol tax—and job insecurity. This government is making their lives even more difficult by cutting essential programs that they need to make ends meet. From 1 July 2014, in five days time, we will see family tax benefit payments not being indexed for another two years. Family tax benefit eligibility thresholds will remain at their current levels for three years. This is not the government that Australian people voted for. So I will be fighting for these families in Scullin and right across the country, fighting for a fair go.
Labor believes in an Australia that includes everyone, helps everyone, lets everyone be their best and leaves no-one to fall behind. This is the Australia that Tony Abbott has forgotten, and this is the Australia that Labor will always fight for.