Terri made a brief statement on Budget Day, 2015.
"What it will do for living standards for Australian people, what it will do for jobs and what it will do for the future economic security of our nation?"
Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (13:54): We all know it is budget day. We are looking forward to seeing the budget tonight and seeing what this government has in store for Australia. But I would like to think that the real question, when we are talking about whether the budget is a good budget, is what it will do for living standards for Australian people, what it will do for jobs and what it will do for the future economic security of our nation. Those to me are the questions that ought to be asked about the budget when we hear from the Liberal Party and the Nationals tonight.
We have already had a lot of leaks about the budget, of course. The idea of saying to families that in order to get better child care they should sacrifice their family tax benefit has been floated. It is a terrible idea. Families should not be asked to sacrifice the family tax benefit in order to improve child care, because this country needs better child care. This country needs better child care right now. We need better child care because we need early childhood learning for all of those kids. We all know that 90 per cent of brain development happens in the first zero to five years of life. We need workforce participation benefits and that is a key benefit of investing in early learning in this country. We have an ageing population—that means we need to increase female workforce participation. It is actually very important that we do that, so we have to get child care right. That is why improving child care should not come with a ransom note. It should not come with an idea that says: if you do not cave in to cutting support for families, we are not going to deliver better child care. I hope that we will see something more positive tonight.