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Tony Abbott forced to defend ‘massive new tax’ on business

Tony Abbott has been forced to defend himself after proposing a new tax on big business to pay for a 26-week parental leave scheme.

Heather Ridout from the Australian Industry Group says the new tax would increase unemployment as businesses struggle to pay the levy.

“It fails muster in terms of a paid parental leave scheme and in terms of tax policy so we are quite concerned about it,” she said. Tony Abbott Tax

“It’s going to pose a very big increase in the costs of bigger companies.”

Tony Abbott proposes a 1.7 percent levy on businesses that pay more than $5 million in tax, which equates to approximately the largest 3,200 companies and is expected to bring in $3 billion in additional tax revenue.

Opposition spokeswoman Sharman Stone defended the plan.

“Business has been dragging the chain on offering people paid parental leave voluntarily forever,” she said, calling the Government’s 18-week plan “a mickey mouse sham of a paid parental leave scheme”.

While in his address to an International Womens Day function yesterday, Mr Abbott avoided calling the scheme a ‘tax’, preferring to use the word ‘levy’. Labor has seized on the opportunity to hit back after months of Mr Abbott calling Labor’s emissions trading scheme a “massive new tax” with Families Minister Jenny Macklin taking aim at Mr Abbott.

“[It’s] a massive new tax raising around $3 billion from business,” she said.

In responding to the criticism Mr Abbott was adamant his paid parental leave scheme was the right thing to do.

“I have no doubt whatsoever about this but I think that this is pro-family, it’s pro-child, it’s pro-mother and in the end it’s going to produce a much stronger economy.”

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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