At an International Womens Day function, opposition Leader Tony Abbott has announced he will introduce a six-month paid parental leave scheme if he wins the next federal election.
Mr Abbott said the scheme, unlike the current Government’s plan would give parents a full six months paid parental leave, verses only 18 weeks paid leave at the minimum wage.
“It’s got to be for six months and it’s got to be at people’s real salary,” he said.
“The beauty of the Coalition’s scheme compared to the Mickey Mouse scheme which the Labor Party has introduced is that our scheme gives parents – particularly mothers – real time and real money.”
Unlike Labor’s paid parental leave scheme, which would be funded to the tune of $250million from existing tax revenue, Mr Abbott’s proposed maternity leave scheme (Mr Abbott’s phrasing) would be funded by an additional tax on big business. This is expected to take the form of a 0.5 percent increase in payroll tax, but is not confirmed at this time.
Update: It has been revealed that Abbott’s paid parental leave plan will be funded by a 1.7 percent levy on the 3200 companies that have a taxable income over $5 million, with this expected to raise $2.7 billion annually.