Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Joe tells Tony to drop his unfair paid parental leave policy

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey is once again openly defying Tony Abbott and leading the charge to dump the Coalition’s unfair and underfunded paid parental leave policy.

Today, when asked to guarantee Tony Abbott’s “signature policy”, Mr Hockey responded: “You will see our initiative in that regard prior to the election…I’m not going to get into speculating about where we’re at.”

This is despite the Leader of the Opposition continuing to insist his colleagues support his toxic policy:

“This is the settled policy of the Coalition.”

Tony Abbott, Australian Financial Review, 29 May 2013

It’s clear the Coalition’s policy is far from “settled”. In fact, Joe Hockey’s chief task inside the Opposition seems to be convincing his leader to quietly drop it before the election.

It’s not surprising that Mr Hockey and most of his colleagues can’t stand their own policy. They know it would give wealthy lawyers and bank executives $75,000 to have a baby while leaving ordinary women behind. They know it would whack a new tax on business – driving up prices at the checkout and putting upward pressure on interest rates.

While Tony Abbott keeps trying to hold off the revolt inside his partyroom, families have been kept in the dark.

Labor is delivering a Paid Parental Leave scheme that is fair for Australian families. Tony Abbott just wants to hurt them.