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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave sham

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Tony Abbott’s latest thought bubble on paid parental leave creates massive uncertainty for Australian families and businesses.

His sham policy has no detail, no costings and no timeline. Mr Abbott will not even promise to commit to a paid parental leave scheme.

“In the short-term, though, I suspect that the alternative to making larger businesses pay is not having any credible national paid parental leave scheme at all.”

Today’s musings are more evidence of Mr Abbott talking first and thinking later

Australian families need certainty on paid parental leave to plan for the future. Australian employers will be deeply concerned by Mr Abbott’s threat today to impose a massive new tax on Australian businesses.

Mr Abbott’s latest thought bubble involves “flagging” the possibility of one day introducing a paid parental leave scheme through a tax on 3,105 businesses that would need to raise almost $3 billion a year

Mr Abbott needs to give Australian families and employers certainty and confirm whether the Liberals will support legislation to introduce the Government’s national paid parental leave scheme due to start on 1 January 2011.

This is yet another backflip on paid parental leave from Mr Abbott. As a Minister in the Howard Government he campaigned for years against paid parental leave saying it would be introduced over his “dead body”.

Mr Abbott’s plan to increase company tax by almost 2 per cent to fund this proposal comes just weeks after denying the Liberals would introduce new taxes.

ABBOTT: We won’t increase taxes. There will be no new taxes. There will be no increased taxes. (3AW, 3 February 2010)

This is a blow to businesses, who were promised by Sharman Stone that the Opposition’s scheme would be government funded.

STONE: What I’m developing up is a system, a scheme or a program if you like, that is like Labor’s, not a burden on the business sector. (3AW, 10 February 2010)

The Opposition can’t even agree on how they will fund their scheme.

Tony Abbott cannot be trusted on parental leave. Australian families deserve better.