Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Coalition parental leave tax will hurt small business

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator The Hon Mark Arbib, Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Small Business, Minister for Sport

Minister for Small Business Mark Arbib and Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin said Shadow Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson had again failed to stand up for small business within his own party.

Mr Billson continues to sit quiet in his party room as Tony Abbott promotes his discredited paid parental tax on business.

Senator Arbib said Tony Abbott’s $4.5 billion a year policy would see small businesses and consumers pay higher costs because his tax increase would be passed down the line.

“The Coalition’s plans to slug business with a new 1.5 per cent tax to pay for its PPL Scheme has been slammed by the business community as double taxation that will push up prices and cost jobs.” Senator Arbib said.

“Bruce Billson should focus his attention on standing up for small business within his own party by convincing his colleagues to dump their Paid Parental Leave Scheme which is a new tax on business.”

“Mr Billson just doesn’t seem to get it – Mr Abbott’s tax on business will immediately be passed down the line to small and medium businesses, particularly small retailers, with no compensation.

“And using Tony Abbott’s $5 million company income threshold, at least 400 businesses who have fewer than 20 employees will pay the tax, while letting some massive businesses with hundreds of employees off scott-free.

“Mr Billson should be honest with Australia’s more than 2 million small businesses and tell them Tony Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme is being paid for out of the pocket of small businesses.”

Ms Macklin said the Gillard Government’s Paid Parental Scheme delivered historic reform that was making a real difference for working families.

“We believe it is important for women to remain connected to their workplace when they take time off to have a baby,” Ms Macklin said.

“The Government’s scheme is helping employers retain skilled staff and boost workforce participation.

“Unlike Tony Abbott’s scheme, which would favour women on higher incomes, our scheme is helping to give all eligible working parents financial support to stay at home and care for their baby full-time during the vital early months of social, cognitive and physical development.

“I don’t think it’s fair that Mr Abbott’s scheme would give some mothers $75,000 but others will receive the minimum wage, all paid for by taxpayers.”

Senator Arbib called on Mr Billson to support the Government’s tax cuts for small business which would be delivered thanks to the Minerals Resource Rent Tax.

“Bruce Billson and Tony Abbott have promised to rip away the tax cuts that Labor is delivering for small business.

“If Mr Billson was serious about supporting small business he would stand up to Tony Abbott and demand that the Liberal Party deliver on the tax cuts Labor is delivering.”