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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2971 ..


This issue is one that is under constant review. We are aware of support also being provided by the Australian government. We are also aware of the gaps in income support that the Australian government continues to allow through their system.

What would be a useful thing would be if there could be bipartisanship in terms of advocacy to raise the incomes of low income Australians. That would be through support for increases to the minimum wage; it would be through support for increases to the Newstart allowance; and it would be through support for increases to pensions. I notice that there is only one party in Australian politics that can hold government that constantly advocates and delivers on those outcomes. That is the Australian Labor Party.

MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, is it Labor values that pensioners find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet due to rising rates?

MR BARR: The government has a comprehensive program of concessions and a very significant program of deferral to enable people to defer those charges until properties are sold. That is an important piece of public policy to ensure that adverse impacts on asset rich but income poor households can be put in place. This is an important principle of equity across our system.

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: Of course I acknowledge that no-one enjoys paying tax, or very few people do. But we all collectively benefit from the investment of our taxation into world-class health services, into emergency services, into community services.

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: The choice is what sort of society we live in: one where government provides services to the community—

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: or a world where you are on your own, where the political party, the conservative political party—

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: seeks to suppress your income by cutting your penalty rates, by opposing minimum wage increases and by seeking to slash your working conditions. Everything that side of politics stands for is to reduce the incomes of low income Australians. You stand condemned for you entire history as a political party, which has been to wage war against low income Australians

Opposition members interjecting

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Madam Speaker.


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