08 February 2024

Cost of living relief

Ms WELLS (Lilley—Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Sport) (14:43): I thank the member for Macquarie not only for her question but for the wonderful work that she does for her constituents, particularly for the 67,000 taxpayers in Macquarie who will now receive a tax cut from 1 July, and that includes many thousands of aged-care workers. The Albanese Labor government is proud to have delivered a 15 percent increase to the award wage minimum for aged-care workers in this country after a very long time in the wilderness from those opposite. Day in, day out, our aged-care workers deliver quality care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community and, for that, we thank you. But like so many Australians, hardworking aged-care workers are feeling the cost-of-living pressures and that is why we are ensuring that the people who care for some of our most vulnerable are being cared for as well and they are now getting a tax cut. They can earn more and they can keep more of what they earn. Under Labor's plan, on 1 July a registered nurse in aged care will receive a tax cut of $1,679, an enrolled nurse will receive a tax cut of $1,214, a cook in aged care will get a tax cut of $1,166, and a home-care worker will get a tax cut of $1,166 as well. Every single one of our valued aged-care workers will be better off because of Labor's tax cuts—better off because this is a government that cares about the people who provide care for us. They'll be better off because we have already funded a 15 per cent award wage rise for aged-care workers, a promise we made to the community, a promise that has helped people like Elle, who has three children and who works as a carer for homecare package recipient Rachel, whom I met while doorknocking in Chermside. Elle told Rachel that her pay rise meant she could buy new school shoes for each of her three children. Now we get to tell workers like Elle that not only does she have a pay rise but she is getting a tax cut too—a tax cut that will help her pay the bills, help her put good food on the table and help her care for her kids. Now we can tell every woman who's a taxpayer that the Albanese Labor government is delivering a tax cut for her. Under Labor's plan, aged-care workers, childcare workers and disability carers are among the most likely to benefit, with more than 95 per cent of female taxpayers to receive a bigger tax cut now. That is what valuing workers looks like. That is what caring for the people who care for us and who are under pressure looks like. That is what doing the right thing looks like. Australian taxpayers do not want the confusion being offered by those opposite on cost of living. They want stronger, fairer wages and they will continue to receive them under us.