December 16, 2015

The Turnbull Government’s so-called compromise on paid parental leave is a con.

New mums receiving paid parental leave know exactly what Treasurer Scott Morrison thinks of them – he thinks they’re “rorters” and “double-dippers”.


The cruel and unfair cut to paid parental leave that Abbott and Hockey announced in May is still in the Budget. Any suggestion that the Government has removed this cut is incorrect.


Malcolm Turnbull still wants to cut paid parental leave to thousands of new mums each year, forcing some parents to spend less time with their newborn babies in those precious early months.


The Liberals are still treating new mums like they did in the Budget, when Scott Morrison called them rorters and double-dippers.


Asked earlier this year what he thought of women accessing employer and government funded paid parental leave schemes, Mr Morrison said:


“…frankly in many cases I think is a rort”.


Mr Morrison went on:


“You shouldn’t be able to double dip just because your employer gives you a generous program, the taxpayer shouldn’t then come and top that up twice.”




The additional spending of $35 million in yesterday’s MYEFO does not come close to making up the $1 billion in cuts to paid parental leave, which are still in the Budget.


Labor looks forward to the details of any new measure that will help ensure women who have to leave work in the early stages of their pregnancy can still access paid parental leave, but this is not part anything announced yesterday.


But make no mistake, thousands of new parents will still be worse off because of Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison's cuts to paid parental leave.


Labor introduced Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme in 2011. This ensured that many new parents on low to middle incomes, as well as casual and contract workers, could access paid parental leave for the first time. 


Labor’s scheme was designed so that paid parental leave could be topped up by employers who wanted to add to the Government’s scheme so new mums can spend more time with their babies.


Under the Liberal Party’s proposal, women who get more than 18 weeks of leave from their employer would be blocked from the government scheme, dramatically reducing the time they get to spend caring for their newborn baby.


The Liberal Government’s record on paid parental leave has been nothing short of atrocious.


Australian families now know they can’t trust Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison when it comes to paid parental leave, just like they couldn’t trust Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey.




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