Clive Palmer suggested the prime minister’s chief of staff was responsible for the government’s generous paid parental leave scheme in Parliament today.
He later continued making the assertion, telling reporters: “I think the idea for the paid parental leave came directly from his chief of staff.
“She’s propagating [PPL] and she gave Tony Abbott his ideas, he can’t think of anything himself,” he said.
As James Massola points out in the SMH, the comments are offensive, especially since Peta Credlin is undergoing IVF treatment in the hope of having a child with her partner.
They are also wrong, given the policy was outlined in Tony Abbott’s book Battlelines, published in 2009, before Credlin was his chief of staff:
“The Rudd government’s paid parental leave scheme is only for women in the paid workforce, but it’s not funded by business as, by rights, it should be. At 18 weeks, it’s not long enough to allow women to fully breast-feed their babies and, at the level of the minimum award wage, it’s inadequate for most families that depend on a mother’s income.”
Massola also pointed out that Credlin — who is employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act — is already eligible for a more generous parental leave scheme than the one offered under Labor.
The $5.6 billion scheme is opposed by many within Tony Abbott’s own party. There have also been suggestions Credlin has too much influence. But as this short extract shows, Palmer is incorrect — which doesn’t even begin to take into account how offensive the comments were.
There’s more here.
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