Tony Abbott will drop the cut off for paid parental leave to $100,000, bringing it in line with the Government’s income threshold for welfare payments.
The Australian reports Abbott is wiping $50,000 off the threshold to make the policy more equal.
What this means is under the scheme a person earning, for example, $175,000 a year will be paid the same amount as someone earning $100,000 a year.
Lowering the cut off means the maximum payment would top out at $50,000 rather than $75,000 on the policy which is estimated to cost up to $5.5 billion when it’s in full swing.
The scheme, which will in part be funded by a 1.5 per cent levy on big companies, has been one of Abbott’s pet projects and a self-described “signature policy”.
Abbott has refused to confirm the changes which The Australian reports were put to the Coalition’s expenditure review committee 10 days ago.
“There is a whole range of measures which the government is in the process of finalising in the fortnight leading up to the budget,” he said.
Although the changes could garner the support of the Greens who have previously said they would vote for the policy if the threshold was reduced to $100,000.
Abbott said the scheme will bring Australian families onto a level playing field and boost female participation in the workforce.
“Why should public servants in Canberra get paid their full wage when they take parental leave and the shop assistants and factory workers of Victoria not get the same deal and if we get our wage when we take holiday and sick pay and long service leave, why shouldn’t we get our wage when we take parental leave?” Abbott said.
There’s more here.
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