Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Coalition MPs know Abbott’s policy will hurt families

As the list of Coalition MPs protesting against Tony Abbott’s unfair paid parental leave policy grows longer by the hour, senior Coalition figures have admitted that Tony Abbott’s new tax on business will hurt ordinary families at the checkout:

Barnaby Joyce: Well if those prices filter through, there’s no doubt about that there will be ramifications of it.

  • Sky News, 6 May 2013

Barnaby Joyce, like most of his colleagues, understands that the Coalition’s rolled-gold paid parental leave policy rewards wealthy lawyers and bank executives and will leave ordinary families behind. They just can’t convince Tony Abbott.

Senator Joyce has joined the growing revolt of senior Coalition figures who know how flawed Tony Abbott’s unfair policy is.

Others include:

Alex Hawke: “Most importantly for Australians, the policy does not pass the fair-go test.” “This policy is not signature policy of the Coalition.” (6 May 2013)

Dennis Jensen: “Certainly I’m aware of a number of colleagues that have similar concerns on this policy. There hasn’t been a detailed policy debate on this issue in the party room but I think that is it is one that needs to be had.” (6 May 2013)

Mal Washer: “The Labor party scheme is quite good.” “I don’t see why it is necessary to go to this level and how it will assist productivity.” (6 May 2013)

Malcolm Turnbull: “I’ve said I’m not going to comment on whether it should be reviewed or not.” (6 May 2013)

Joe Hockey: “We haven’t given you the absolute details, the final details, on the paid parental leave scheme.” (1 May 2013)

Mathias Cormann: “We are yet to announce how we would propose to fund it in the context of the next election because at this stage we haven’t released our full costings yet.” (16 April 2013)

Peter Reith: “…it is obviously bad policy…” (7 May 2013) “I have no doubt a lot of people in the Coalition are unhappy about it. It was a decision by Tony.” (6 May 2013)

Nick Minchin: “I have been on the record many, many times as saying that I’m not a supporter of the paid parental leave scheme of the Opposition.” “I think Tony and the Opposition should now put that in the aspirational category.” (5 May 2013)

Peter Costello: “My view is that it is a very generous scheme.” (30 April 2013)

It is now crystal clear that Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave policy is toxic inside the Coalition party room.

Tony Abbott’s colleagues know his policy is unfair and costly.

They know it favours high flying bank executives and lawyers, giving them $75,000 to have a baby while leaving ordinary working women behind.

And they know his tax on business will drive up prices at the checkout.

It took a Labor Government to deliver Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave Scheme – which has already benefitted more than 270,000 working mums and their families. Our scheme is fair for working women and fair for business.

Australian families can’t trust Tony Abbott.