Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Abbott’s big new tax will hurt Australian business

Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, today confirmed his $10.8 billion paid parental leave plan is a great big new tax on business.

On Sunday Today Mr Abbott told Laurie Oakes he would hit business with a 1.7 per cent tax to fund his plan to give women earning $150,000 and over, $75,000 to have a baby.

OAKES: While we’re on company taxes … you’re whacking on a 1.7 per cent tax on businesses with a taxable income more than $5 million a year.

ABBOTT: And, and, and, and, and, I would rather that we didn’t have to do that, Laurie.

OAKES: But you’re doing it.

ABBOTT: Yes, yes I am.

Mr Abbott admitted Australian business did not support his parental leave tax.

ABBOTT: Look, you know, I, Laurie, if you tell me, um, companies don’t like the 1.7 per cent levy, large companies don’t like that, you’re absolutely right.

This follows Abbott conceding last week he was rolled by Shadow Cabinet on an almost $4 billion proposal over four years to double the Australian Government’s Baby Bonus.

Mr Abbott also confirmed that his plan would pay high income working mums up to $70,000 more than mums who are not in paid work.

ABBOTT: If you are on a particular wage- you get whatever your wage is. If it’s higher, you get a higher wage. If it’s lower, you get a lower wage. If you’re not on a wage you’re out of the system.

OAKES: So you’re giving $75,000 to someone courtesy of the taxpayer… But you’re saying we can’t afford to give another $5000 to stay at home mums.

ABBOTT: Look, I, I, I, I accept- I accept that there is a political issue there, Laurie. I accept that.

In a bid to catch up with the Australian Government, which is delivering Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme, Mr Abbott wants to hit business with a great big tax that will hurt Australia’s economy.

By contrast, the Rudd Government’s scheme is fair to business and fair for families.

Our scheme is fully-costed, in the Budget and will commence on 1 January 2011.