Baby bonus row


Opposition leader Tony Abbott has apologised for the comment he made about the Federal Government’s lack in experience when it comes to babies.

But he says he was talking about his own experience as a father, NOT referring to the Prime Minister’s childless state.

Alexandra West reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Treasurer Wayne Swan announced the baby bonus would drop from five thousand to three thousand dollars for second and subsequent children.

He justified the cut saying parents already own essentials by the birth of their second child.

Tony Abbott doesn’t agree.

Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader: “In our family every child is a golden child, I think if the Government was a bit more experienced in this area they wouldn’t come out with glibs like that.”

The Trade Minister questioned the opposition leader’s comment.

Craig Emerson, Trade Minister: “If he’s talking about the Treasurer he’s got several children, I’ve got several children, so what’s he really on about.”

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “Well I think Mr Abbott can explain what he meant by that line.”

The Opposition leader offered to apologise, saying he was talking about his own experience, not the Prime Minister’s.

Mr Abbott says the Government is “hyperventilating” over the issue and he meant no offence.

He also criticised other measures to get the budget to surplus and slammed the Government’s current spending.

Tony Abbott, Opposition leader: “Really and truly this is a Government that spends money like a drunken sailor.”

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has compared the bonus cut to “China’s one child policy”, saying the Government is hurting families for its own political gain.

Alexandra West, QUT News