Tony Abbott scrapped his proposed Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme last month amidst opposition from within business circles and his own party. Under the scheme new mothers would have received the equivalent of their full wage (capped at $150,000) for six months. It was to be part funded by a 1.5% levy on business.
By Socialist Party reporters
Opponents of the scheme complained that it was too expensive (at around $5.5 billion) and did not push women back into the workforce quickly enough. Labor for their part said that it was too generous and claimed their PPL scheme was better for business. While the scheme was always unlikely to get through the Senate it was designed to win over the support of women voters – especially middle class women.
The government claims that instead of the PPL scheme they are now focused on a new ‘families package’ which focuses on childcare. In reality the ‘families package’ is about making cuts to childcare subsidies and encouraging the process of privatisation in the sector.
Socialists support Paid Parental Leave provisions and a real living wage for everyone regardless of their ability to work. Such measures could easily be paid for by taxing big business at appropriate rates.