Transcript by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Paid Parental Leave, leadership, Doorstop Brisbane Pregnancy Babies and Children’s Expo

Program: Brisbane Pregnancy Babies and Children's Expo

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JENNY MACKLIN: I’m very pleased to be here in Brisbane today with all these families, mums, dads, kids, grandmas, grandpas – all of them having a wonderful time looking at all the things that are available for new families, new parents.

I’m very pleased that we have been able to inform parents about our new Paid Parental Leave scheme, just through the Parliament this week. It will start on the 1st of January next year. This new Paid Parental Leave scheme will be especially important for lower income families, for those part-time workers, the casual worker, anyone working in retail or hospitality. We know that there are around 30,000 lower income families that are going to really benefit from this Paid Parental Leave scheme.

JOURNALIST: Why shouldn’t stay-at-home mums get it?

JENNY MACKLIN: Those mums or dads who want to stay-at-home with their children will receive support from the Commonwealth. They will receive the Baby Bonus which will continue to be available for them and they receive Family Tax Benefit Part B. We do recognise that it is very important to support families in the choices that they make, whether they are staying at home or whether they are going to work.

JOURNALIST: It is not the same is it? It needs doubling, doesn’t it almost?

JENNY MACKLIN: No, No that is not right. It depends on your family circumstances, but if you are someone, a mum or dad, who is staying at home in your first year, in the first year of a baby’s life, in fact you will receive slightly more, but it really depends on your family circumstances.

JOURNALIST: Is it discriminatory?

JENNY MACKLIN: No, I don’t think so. I think it is really important that we provide financial support to families whatever their circumstances, whether they are home or whether they are in the workforce. We know that far too many mothers are having to go back to work very quickly after their baby is born because they don’t have access to paid parental leave. That is what is so good about this new scheme. For so many casuals, hospitality workers, retail workers – for the first time they’re going to get access to paid parental leave, so that they can spend more time at home with their new born babies.

JOURNALIST: Does that put Tony Abbott’s plan on toast?

JENNY MACKLIN: Tony Abbott, the Liberal Party, the National Party don’t seem to know what they are doing. Mr Truss, the leader of the National Party, said yesterday that he had concerns with Tony Abbott’s scheme. He thinks Tony Abbott has got it wrong. So, the Liberal Party and the National Party now seem to be split on their views on paid parental leave. By contract the Government is determined to move ahead to provide support to parents. It will be available from the 1st January next year.

JOURNALIST: OK, let’s get to the nitty gritty, when are you going to dump Mr Rudd?

JENNY MACKLIN: Mr Rudd has this week just delivered the first Paid Parental Leave scheme in Australia. Australia has finally caught up with the rest of the world because we have a Prime Minister in this country who really understands the needs of families

JOURNALIST: The polls don’t really show that though?

JENNY MACKLIN: Well, it has only happened this week. The good news is that we are delivering for the first time….

JOURNALIST: But what about Mr Rudd, seriously what about Mr Rudd. At what point will the Labor Party dump Mr Rudd before the election, how low does it have to go?

JENNY MACKLIN: Well paid parental leave in Australia would not have happened without Mr Rudd and his leadership. It’s this Prime Minister who has really made a difference for families and new born babies. It is Mr Rudd who understands how important it is for families to have that financial support when a new born baby comes into their family.

JOURNALIST: Well he is going to need more than that support? He is going to need the Labor Party’s support?

JENNY MACKLIN: Well I can assure you he has got mine.

JOURNALIST: What about the rest of party though?

JENNY MACKLIN: I think he has very, very strong support across the Labor caucus. It is certainly the case that we understand how important Mr Rudd has been in delivering paid parental leave. It’s Mr Rudd who has been so important in delivering an increase to Age Pensioners, to Disability Support Pensioners, so many improvements that have been delivered because of his leadership.

JOURNALIST: Is there number counting going on?

JENNY MACKLIN: No, no, that’s a complete and utter furphy.

JOURNALIST: Why is the Government disadvantaging stay-at-home mums by not matching the Baby Bonus to the parental scheme?

JENNY MACKLIN: We are providing the Baby Bonus and Family Tax Benefit Part B to those mums and dads who do want to stay at home. We do understand just how important it is to provide support to families in whatever choices they make.