The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of David Bradbury

David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Media Release of 13/03/2013

NO.031

Hockey hypocrisy on Baby Bonus

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has been exposed as a hypocrite of the highest order after late last night informing the Government he'll vote against measures to make the Baby Bonus sustainable.

This move comes after Mr Hockey only months ago told a London audience that the "Age of Entitlement" was over and that tough decisions would need to be made:

"The age of unlimited and unfunded entitlement to government services and income support is over."
[17 APRIL 2012]

Mr Hockey repeated the sentiment the next day telling Lateline:

"We need to keep our pencil sharpened when it comes to entitlements."
[18 APRIL 2012]

And Coalition MPs were briefing the media they would support the measure:

"It is expected that when the bill comes to the vote, the Coalition will let it through on the voices, rather than call for a division."
[AFR, 14 FEBRUARY 2013]

The Government is making changes to the Baby Bonus that maintains support for new parents with the upfront costs of having a baby, while ensuring the family payments system is sustainable into the future.

For babies born on or after 1 July, the rate of the Baby Bonus will be:

  • $5000 for first children and all multiple births; and
  • $3000 for all subsequent children, for example second and third children in a family.

The Baby Bonus will continue to provide Australian families with financial support when a new baby arrives. Paid Parental Leave and Dad & Partner Pay are also available for eligible working parents.

However, late last night, Opposition Families spokesman Kevin Andrews confirmed in the House he had rolled the Shadow Treasurer, with the Opposition now back-flipping and saying they'll now vote against these measures, Mr Hockey has been shown to lack the influence within his own party room to enforce his empty rhetoric.

For all his bluff and bluster, Mr Hockey has rolled over the moment Shadow Families Minister Kevin Andrews came knocking.

He's shown himself to be a bigger policy weakling than the Opposition Leader, too scared to make any decisions in the long-term interests of Australia. What a truly hypocritical performance – no wonder Mr Hockey struggles to be taken seriously by anyone.

13 March 2013


Background: Age of Entitlement Speech, 17 April 2012

"We must rebuild fiscal discipline. Budget surpluses must be restored, ideally until the debt is repaid.

"This can only be achieved by cutting spending or by raising taxes. And given the general acceptance that the increased drag from higher taxes would compromise economic growth, the clear mandate is to lower expenditure."

"This is lovely rhetoric but to actually do it needs some very harsh political and social decisions."