Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Andrew Robb puts Tony Abbott’s “Rolls Royce” plan for paid parental leave on hold

Today the Shadow Minister for Finance, Andrew Robb, admitted that a Liberal Government may never deliver Tony Abbott’s “Rolls Royce” paid parental leave scheme.

Mr Robb told ABC PM today that his party had not “finalised any of our major policies”, and that no decisions had been made on when or how their paid parental leave scheme would be funded.

This is despite Tony Abbott confirming again that “we will definitely implement it” on the Today Show just three days ago.

It is now clear that Tony Abbott will never deliver on his paid parental leave plan.

The truth is Tony Abbott doesn’t have any support for his “Rolls Royce” paid parental leave plan – not in his party room, not from business and not from families.

By Mr Robb’s own admission, the Liberals would whack a great big new tax on Australian businesses to pay for it.

No one thinks a great big new tax on business that will hit families in the hip pocket is a good idea, including the Liberals and the National Party.

Just last week:

  • Liberal Member for McMillan, Russell Broadbent, declared he found it hard to explain the “extravagant” scheme “for rich people”;
  • Liberal Senator Sue Boyce described it as a “Rolls Royce” scheme, saying the Coalition should consider something that was “more like a Holden”; and
  • Liberal sources said the scheme is “practically friendless” in the Shadow Cabinet.

In the meantime, this Labor Government is getting on with the job of delivering for working families.

We’ve already introduced Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme more than a year ago – a fully-funded scheme that 140,000 Australian families are already benefitting from.