Tony Abbott’s timeline on paid parental leave
In 2002, Tony Abbott’s hostility to paid parental leave reached a crescendo, when he declared to the press: “Compulsory paid maternity leave? Over this Government’s dead body, frankly.”
Writing for The Australian in October 2008, he claimed that paid parental leave – like abortion – was part of a “radical women’s agenda” championed by extreme feminists in the Labor movement. He spoke out about his opposition to the scheme based on the ways it reduced stay at home mothers to second class citizens, lambasting then Prime Minister Rudd’s commitment to women workers as an example of “Political Correctness”; extreme lip-service to the feminists in Labor ranks.
“Providing more government benefits to employed mothers than to stay-at-home ones is not only unfair but it’s going to strike many people as an attack on the traditional family. Conservative brownie points for making it easier for employed women to stay at home with their newborns won’t outweigh the scheme’s ideological bias towards the two-income family.”
Productivity Commission Report: “Payment at a flat rate would mean that the labour supply effects would be greatest for lower income, less skilled women — precisely those who are most responsive to wage subsidies and who are least likely to have privately negotiated paid parental leave. Full replacement wages for highly educated, well paid women would be very costly for taxpayers and, given their high level of attachment to the labour force and a high level of private provision of paid parental leave, would have few incremental labour supply benefits.”
Mr Abbott first announced his paid parental leave in 2010 after he emerged from a luncheon event on International Women’s Day. The scheme would pay new mothers their regular wage for six months, up to a maximum of $75,000, and is to be funded by a 1.5 per cent levy on more than 3000 big companies.
May 7 2013
TONY Abbott’s expensive paid parental leave scheme is “all about” encouraging women of “calibre” to have children, the Opposition Leader said today.
“We do not educate women to higher degree level to deny them a career,” he said.
“If we want women of that calibre to have families, and we should, well we have to give them a fair dinkum chance to do so. That is what this scheme of paid parental leave is all about.”
July 23 2013
LABOR is on its own believing a parental leave plan should be paid at “welfare” rates rather than a worker’s real wage, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says.
The Abbott government cut $450 million from the Outside School Hours Care program.
They tightened the criteria for providers who care for children in their own homes from July 2015 (and for new providers from 2014). The new rules mean family day care providers must be the only service in their local area and the Government expects to save $157 million over three years as a result of this change.
The Government cancelled funding to all Indigenous Children and Family Centres, totalling $78 million per year.
October 9 2014
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is standing firm on his prized paid parental leave scheme, saying it is still his “firm intention” it will start next July amid renewed calls from government MPs that it should be dumped to pay for the mission in Iraq.
The Prime Minister said on Thursday he has promised the policy at two elections and took a swipe at MPs who had raised concerns about the policy only after the Coalition’s election to government. Mr Abbott insisted he did not want to break an election promise.
February 2 2015
In a bid to convince colleagues he is listening, Mr Abbott will use a much-anticipated speech to confirm he has dumped his paid parental leave (PPL) scheme in favour of a “families package” and “a bigger, better PPL scheme is off the table”.
April 28 2015
On Tuesday, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison announced almost $250 million for a two-year nanny trial, providing funding to about 10,000 children. Nannies will not need to hold a minimum early childhood qualification.
May 11 2015
Almost 80,000 new mothers will lose some or all of their government parental leave payments in a move slammed by a key consultant for the paid parental leave scheme as “the mother of all insults”.
The move represents a stunning turnaround from the government that less than six months ago was still promising to provide six months of paid parental leave for families, under Mr Abbott’s now-dumped “signature” policy.
It will see almost half of new mothers lose access to the full $11,500 available under the federal government’s existing scheme from July 2016.
May 11 2015
National party senators are joining the Labor party and the Greens in questioning the cuts to single income families’ benefits that the Abbott government says are essential to pay for the new childcare package that forms the centrepiece of its budget.
But Coalition backbencher, Queensland Liberal National party senator Matthew Canavan agrees the payments should not be linked….
“We are deeply concerned about the divide between support for working families and support for families where one parent stays at home … the system we are proposing massively penalises families where a parent stays home to look after children and we think it does not properly value the benefits of unpaid work,” he said.
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