Prime Minister Tony Abbott has today done a u-turn on his signature Paid Parental Leave scheme. When it was first announced, women earning $150,000 a year would have received a payment of $75,000. In April this year, the PM pared it back to to $50,000 – and now all indications are that it will now be cut back even more.
The idea to fund the payments through a 1.5 per cent levy on big business will remain, but the savings will now go towards the 50 per cent rebate for home carers, including nannies.
The Prime Minister had previously presented the $5.5 billion scheme as a “signature” policy during the election campaign. But the Labor Opposition — and some within the Prime Minister’s own Coalition Government — have slammed the planned scheme in both its forms; calling it unaffordable and inequitable.
Earlier this year, one Mamamia reader explained why she thinks the proposed ‘Rolls Royce’ paid parental leave scheme is all wrong, in all its forms.
This is what she had to say:
There’s a reason why I can’t write this post under my real name. You see, most of my friends have kids. I have god children and two nephews and a niece I adore.
But as a 43-year-old woman without kids, it’s impossible for me to say what I really feel about the Liberal party’s proposed paid parental scheme because my parent friends would be horrified.
Before I continue, let’s get one thing straight – I love kids. I also agree that raising children is the cornerstone of society and as such, should be supported by taxpayers. To an extent, anyway.
But here’s another thing I believe strongly: all kids should be treated as equal by our government. As should the adults having them.
Which is why I am against Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave plan. Because it is not egalitarian – it is elitist. To pay a primary carer 26 weeks paid parental leave is idealistic at best. To pay them on the wage they earn normally is quite frankly, ridiculous.
Under the current paid parental scheme, set up by Labor, the government pays a baby’s primary carer at the minimum wage, currently $622.20 per week for 18 weeks. In the current economic climate, this is more than fair.
But now, the Abbott government wants to introduce a 26-week replacement wage scheme where women earning up to $100,000 each year would be paid their full salary for the period of leave, including superannuation, which could be as much as $50,000 per pregnancy.
Take into account the fact that tax payer dollars also subsidise unlimited IVF cycles for all women of any age, and you start to wonder when there will be a ‘pushing tax’ put on us all as well.
Here’s an opinion you don’t often read, but if you ask me, it’s one that’s strongly held by many of us who are too frightened of the PC police to say it out loud: children are a lifestyle choice. They are not a right. If you want them, be prepared to pay for them. Your children. Your choice.