Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Abbott’s paid parental leave sham

The Liberal Party today demonstrated that its paid parental leave thought bubble is a sham with no detail, no costing and no timeframe.

Last week, Tony Abbott said it would take two years to implement.

ABBOTT: We will do it as quickly as we reasonably can, should we win the next election. Now, I would be amazed if we cannot do this within two years. I would certainly anticipate that it would be …” [Doorstop 10/3/10]

Today the timeframe has suddenly shrunk to an impossible few months.

The Shadow Minister for the Status of Women, Sharman Stone, today announced that the Opposition would start its scheme “within a few months of getting into office.”

STONE: “As soon as we could get it into place and we would hope that would be within you know a few months of getting into office…” [Doorstop, 15/3/10]

Mr Abbott is in la-la land if he thinks he can make the necessary changes to the payment system, prepare employers and give families certainty within a few months.

Dr Stone’s pie in the sky comments show that the Liberals’ paid parental leave scheme is a hoax on Australian families.

It would be impossible to implement a change of this magnitude within months of an election.

Australians haven’t even seen a policy document from Mr Abbott, let alone an implementation schedule.

Mr Abbott clearly doesn’t have any understanding of the Centrelink payment system, how his proposal would sit with existing maternity leave entitlements, or how families would lodge a claim.

Mr Abbott cannot be trusted on paid parental leave.

Mr Abbott must stop deceiving Australian families about his paid parental leave sham.

Australian families deserve better.