Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Nationals Split on Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave

Senior National Party senator, Fiona Nash today confirmed the deep split in the Coalition on Tony Abbott’s unfair and extreme paid parental leave sham.

Tony Abbott did not consult his National Party colleagues before announcing his paid parental leave thought bubble and now they will not publicly support it.

Last week, Nationals Leader Warren Truss said he had reservations about elements of the Coalition scheme including concerns about the size of some of the payments.

Today, on Sky Agenda, Senator Nash was asked repeatedly whether the Nationals supported the Abbott plan to hit businesses with a huge new tax in order to pay high income parents up to $75,000. She repeatedly would not answer the question.

HOST: Alright, can we just stick to the leave scheme – will you oppose Tony Abbott’s leave scheme as he pushes forward with it during the election campaign and after the election?

NASH: Look, we’re very supportive of Tony Abbott supporting parents in the workforce …

HOST: That particular scheme, though, you will support it even though your leader has said that you won’t?

NASH: Look, that particular scheme is a range of things that we’re putting forward at the moment to make sure that our parents either in the workforce or at home are supported, and we’ve been discussing this for a long time now ….

HOST: Alright, we’ll talk about stay at home mums in a minute, but I just don’t seem to be able to get a straight answer on whether you agree that Tony Abbott should push ahead with this, with his version of the paid parental leave scheme, which would put an extra tax on to businesses?

NASH: Look, we’ve been very supportive of Tony Abbott putting this forward. We’ve been very clear about that, but we’re also very supportive of mums and dads …

HOST: Alright, so, sorry, before we talk about …

NASH: (inaudible) Tony Abbott about doing that.

HOST: Before we talk about the stay at homes, so, those stories that have been around, the leader saying that he wasn’t as supportive of Tony Abbott’s scheme, you’re saying you don’t agree with that, that you will support Tony Abbott’s scheme?

NASH: I’m saying that we’re very supportive of Tony Abbott supporting parents in the workplace who need to take time off to be with their children …

HOST: Right, so you will back him, you will back him this scheme which puts a great big new tax on businesses?

NASH: I’ve said about seven times now that we’re very supportive of making sure that those mums and dads who need to take time off in the workplace have the support that they need.

Senator Nash and the Nationals know that Mr Abbott’s sham scheme which imposes a huge new tax on business is unfair and will hurt regional communities.

Mr Abbott’s tax hike will hurt local businesses and mean higher grocery prices for pensioners and families in regional and rural areas.

The Government’s scheme is fair for families, fair to business and will benefit regional communities.