Senators From Tony Abbott’s Own Party Could Crush His Flagship Paid Parental Leave Scheme

A group of Liberal senators are reportedy considering voting against Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave shceme (Photo: Getty/Stephen Postles)

A group of Liberal senators are reportedly expected to vote against the Prime Minister’s flagship paid parental leave scheme, with the Greens also considering withdrawing their support.

The Australian Financial Review says the senators include Cory Bernardi, Ian Macdonald and Dean Smith, and that others have reservations over the scheme, or have decided to cross the floor when it comes before the Upper House.

Abbott’s scheme, which the commission of audit has described as excessively generous at a time when the Government is championing fiscal sensibility — with reports of a “surplus levy” being considered — would pay working women their full wage for six months, capped at $150,000.

To pass the legislation, the Government needs the support of 10 Greens senators who will be sitting after July 1. Labor, Clive Palmer, and all the other crossbench senators do not support it.

As the AFR’s report points out, if the Greens withdraw their support, then the legislation is dead. And even if they support it with changes, it would take just five Coalition senators to either vote against it, or abstain, to defeat it. A group of Nationals senators were already considering voting against the scheme.

Critics of the legislation say it is too generous and unfairly rewards well-off women who could receive up to $75,000 for the six months. It could also put stay-at-home mums at a disadvantage.

There’s more here.