MR THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to correspondence from Paul Byrne in my electorate, who runs a small electrical contracting business that employs a number of apprentices.
Paul says that cutting the Tools For Your Trade scheme in the budget will make his apprentices reconsider completing training courses and 'may result in some of the apprentices dropping out of the trade'. What additional cuts is the Prime Minister planning for apprentices?
Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Prime Minister): I trust that the member who asked the question was honest with the employer that he was in contact with. If he was being as honest as members of parliament should be with their constituents, he would have said: 'Sure, the Tools For Your Trade payment is going, but the trade support loans are coming.' The trade support loan is four times the size of the Tools For Your Trade grant. That means there is four times as much support available to apprentices from this government than was available from members opposite—a pretty good deal for the apprentices of Australia, including the apprentices the member asked me about.