Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Abbott’s reckless spending – sham plans with no costings and no timelines

Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, today admitted he was rolled by Shadow Cabinet on an almost $4 billion proposal over four years to double the Australian Government’s Baby Bonus.

This follows Mr Abbott’s proposal for a $10.8 billion paid parental leave sham. But Mr Abbott will not provide costings or timelines for any of his proposals.

Mr Abbott last night devoted a significant section of his Budget Address in Reply speech to his paid parental leave sham, but again refused to commit to a start date.

Without a start date, families know that Mr Abbott is not serious about delivering paid parental leave to Australian families.

Mr Abbott cannot be trusted on paid parental leave.

For 12 years in government, Mr Abbott refused to deliver paid parental leave and said that it would happen over his dead body.

Now he is playing desperate catch up and wants to hit business with a great big tax that will hurt Australia’s economy.

In March, Mr Abbott said that if he was elected, families would have to wait until at least 2013 for paid parental leave. Now he won’t even repeat that promise.

By contrast, the Rudd Government is giving families certainty.

On Wednesday, the Government introduced the Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010 in to Parliament to deliver Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme.

This is a major win for Australian families who have waited decades for a national Paid Parental Leave scheme.

The Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme is fair to business and fair for families, and will commence on 1 January 2011.