Ms LE (Fowler) (14:09): Prime Minister, you are no doubt aware that working-class Australians are feeling the pain of rental costs, housing affordability and soaring costs for essentials such as food, electricity, gas, insurance and petrol, to name a few. When will your government act to freeze the compounding HECS indexation to alleviate debt pressures for our best and brightest young people, especially those from low-socioeconomic backgrounds and in my Fowler community in Western Sydney?

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Prime Minister) (14:10): I will begin and then ask the Minister for Education to comment given the release just this week of the comprehensive plan that he has received on higher education. But I’ll say this about the member for Fowler’s electorate. They were big winners last night. Fowler does have a large cohort of low-socioeconomic recipient income levels. They will benefit substantially from—

Mr Fletcher interjecting—

The SPEAKER: Order! The Manager of Opposition Business will cease interjecting.

Mr ALBANESE: the fact that—

Ms Ley interjecting—

The SPEAKER: I like to be very fair and reasonable, but if I have just called someone up for interjecting and the House is silent, it is a bit rich for the deputy leader to then interject. I’m just going to ask her to cease interjecting for the remainder of this answer.

Mr ALBANESE: Out of respect for the member for Fowler and her question, it is important to recognise that, as a result of that decrease in that first rate from 19c to 16c, a whole lot of her electorate who were going to get not a single dollar will now get a tax cut. As a direct result as well of our tax cut plan passing the Senate, average workers, like teachers, nurses, community workers, people in aged care, people in child care and police officers, will all get double the tax cut that they were going to get previously. As a direct result of the government’s intervention as well, aged-care workers, many of whom live in the member for Fowler’s electorate, will have received a 15 per cent wage increase. What that has done is feed into, as we have seen throughout 2023, delivering a real wage increase.

Mr Taylor interjecting—

The SPEAKER: Order, Member for Hume! The Prime Minister is talking about the issues the member for Fowler asked about in her question regarding cost-of-living increases in housing and food. The Prime Minister has completed his answer.

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: Order on my left! We are going to hear the questions in silence and hopefully the answers as well.