DENIAL: Scott Morrison.
DENIAL: Scott Morrison. MICK TSIKASAAP

Leadership talk overshadows childcare bills

CHILDCARE reforms, questions over a job offer Malcolm Turnbull allegedly made to Scott Morrison and a government win on controversial citizenship legislation dominated parliament in Canberra on Monday.

Media on Monday reported unnamed sources confirming Mr Turnbull offered Mr Morrison the treasurer's job in the event of a future leadership spill, after the failed February attempt against Tony Abbott.

But Mr Morrison and others reportedly involved in the leadership machinations denied the claims, but the reports dominated debate in Question Time.

Despite the claims, the government appeared to get two key wins in negotiations- one on potential childcare reforms and the other on new citizenship laws.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham on Sunday revealed grandparent carers and single parents aged over 60 would get Family Tax Benefit Part B until their youngest child turned 18.

The key change was expected to satisfy Senate crossbenchers concerned about the impacts of removing access to the benefit for all other families when their youngest child turned 13.

Labor and The Greens have opposed the government's child care reforms, on the grounds of $4.8 billion in tax benefits cut to pay for the new system.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the new plan was still contingent on the savings from the changes to family tax benefits.

But he said up to 165,000 grandparents and older single parents would essentially be exempt from the cuts to family tax benefits all others would face.

He said other welfare bills passed by the House last week saw the Opposition back up to $500 million in savings the government needed to fund its childcare package.

But the Opposition also gave some ground to the government on its planned laws to strip the Australian citizenship of dual nationals convicted with terror offences.

In a special meeting on the laws on Monday, the Labor caucus gave it its support, after the government made changes to allow such decisions without requiring the Immigration Minister's approval.

That change follows official legal advice will also help to bolster the government's bill against any constitutional challenges.


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