Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says returning $550 a year to the average family as a result of his government’s long-awaited repeal of the carbon tax is his top achievement as Minister for Women in 2014.
Speaking on the Today Show, Abbott told host Lisa Wilkinson that women were “particularly focused” on the household budget, indicating the savings would be valuable to them.
“Well, you know, it is very important to do the right thing by families and households,” he said.
“As many of us know, women are particularly focused on the household budget and the repeal of the carbon tax means a $550 a year benefit for the average family.”
The Prime Minister also attempted to promote his oft-delayed and highly debated paid parental leave scheme, promising its introduction to Parliament next year.
The Abbott Government’s ministerial reshuffle over the weekend also brought about the introduction of the PM’s second female cabinet member, Sussan Ley, who was promoted to Minister for Health and Sport.
The PM also assigned Victorian MP Kelly O’Dwyer as parliamentary secretary to the Treasurer and Queensland MP Karen Andrews to the position of parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science.
Abbott was criticised on another morning television show, Sunrise, by host Natalie Barr who asked if he was “embarrassed” by the small number of females on his frontbench.
“We have actually seven women on the frontbench,” Abbott replied.
“We have got two cabinet ministers, two outer ministry ministers and three parliamentary secretaries so look, there are women in the corridors of power.
“The challenge… is to get more women into public life, more women into the Parliament [and] once we have got more women in the Parliament, we will have more women in the ministry and more women in the cabinet.”
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