Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Tony Abbott can’t be trusted on paid parental leave

Joint Media Release with:

  • David Bradbury MP
    Assistant Treasurer Minister
    Assisting for Deregulation

Tony Abbott’s unfair and costly Paid Parental Leave scheme has been given yet another nail in the coffin this morning – with yet another Liberal MP calling on his Leader to scrap it.

Writing for the Liberal think-tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, Liberal MP Alex Hawke has become the latest in a long line of Coalition MPs to raise their concerns about Tony Abbott’s scheme.

Here are some highlights:

“At a potential cost of $4.3bn, a parental leave scheme at full pay would be an unjustifiable impost on business at a crucial time in the economic cycle.”

“Most importantly for Australians, the policy does not pass the fair-go test.”

“As we know, levying the top 3300 Australian companies will have a number of consequences. Higher prices for customers is the first.”

  • The Australian, 6 May 2013

It’s crystal clear that the Opposition are hopelessly divided on this issue – and they are now laying the groundwork to dump their policy.

Tony Abbott’s colleagues are openly admitting that his plan is unfair. They know it rewards high flying bank executives and lawyers with $75,000 to have a baby at the expense of ordinary working women.

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

Mr Hawke’s contribution comes after Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey foreshadowed changes to the Liberals’ announced policy last week, saying the details were not yet settled.

HOCKEY: We haven’t given you the absolute details, the final details, on the paid parental leave scheme.

JOURNALIST: Are you suggesting changing the policy from last time which would be paid for by a levy?

HOCKEY: I am not getting into speculation…..Our policy stands as of today. What we are going to find out is the true state of the books.

  • Radio National, 1 May 2013

And that came just days after Tony Abbott refused to say when his paid parental leave scheme would start if he were elected, putting it off to the never never.

The Liberals need to come clean with working women about what their real plans are for paid parental leave and why they no longer back their costly $4.5 billion a year scheme.

Mr Hockey has the perfect opportunity to do just that today – when he gives a speech in front of his mates at the IPA.

It took a Labor Government 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.

Families just can’t trust Tony Abbott.