Liberal Paid Parental Leave scheme is just welfare

This morning I attended a speech given by Joe Hockey. In the Q & A session a question came up about the Paid Parental Scheme. Now there are good, bad and cynical reasons for wanting a paid parental scheme. Hockey first rolled out the good reason – this will contribute to maintaining labour force participation amongst young women. Okay – maybe maybe not, but that is a plausible story. But that doesn’t justify how the PPL would be paid for.

The Liberals are proposing a levy on big business. A cynical explanation for that would be that big business tends to pay the overwhelming bulk of corporate income tax anyway, so why burden small business with a tax its not likely to pay? Hockey, however, has a bad reason for imposing higher taxes on big business.

His argument went as follows (Hockey didn’t use this terminology): Small business cannot compete for female labour on the same basis as does big business. Small business can’t afford to pay maternity leave and so what is a competitive attraction for women working for large business should become an entitlement for all women. So the Liberals would rather expand a welfare program than allow competitive forces to operate in the provision of paid maternity leave.

This argument was inconsistent with the rest of his speech where he argued that government should only do for individuals what they cannot do for themselves and no more. The audience understood that – there was no applause after Hockey finished his (very impassioned and heart-felt) explanation of the PPL scheme. Plenty of applause for everything else.

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104 Responses to Liberal Paid Parental Leave scheme is just welfare

  1. C.L.

    Hockey first rolled out the good reason – this will contribute to maintaining labour force participation amongst young women.

    Why is that good?

    The country would be better off paying them to have children in the 20s.

  2. Judith Sloan

    The PC estimates – and they were at the generous end, let’s be frank – of the impact of a PPL scheme on female labour force participation was an additional 6 months at most over a worker’s lifetime. Very small, in other words.

  3. Pedro

    “Hockey first rolled out the good reason – this will contribute to maintaining labour force participation amongst young women. Okay – maybe maybe not, but that is a plausible story. But that doesn’t justify how the PPL would be paid for.”

    I agree with CL, though perhaps not for the same reason. Maintaining labour force participation is only a good idea if the alternative is a less good idea. I don’t think that is a value judgement anyone can make at the societal level, let alone a govt.

    Also, I’m not sure how paying women to not work encourages their labour force participation. Cheap childcare would do much more if you want that goal (which I don’t).

  4. Arthur Or

    The coalition has to drop this policy or if they feel the need to save face defer it indefinitely. It sends mixed messages to the electorate and doesn’t help their cause. I know that we are now presented with a least worst choice scenario but this policy reeks of social engineering and must be scotched.

  5. Gab

    Why is small or large or any business forced to pay PPL? You want kids, fine, go off and have them like millions have done before in Australian. Why should a company pay you six months’ worth of leave for a decision that you made in your personal life?

  6. Fisky

    I like Abbott’s policy but accept it may not be feasible until his second term. The PC needs to take into account the higher average IQ that will result from the policy over time, and the very real effects this will have on productivity, law and order, public health, individual morality and how having less future Labor voters will feed back into all these things. You can’t just do a few sums on paper and conclude it is ‘not efficient’ when the most important variables are left out.

  7. Why should a company pay you six months’ worth of leave for a decision that you made in your personal life?

    That’s the government’s job!

  8. Infidel Tiger

    It goes against everything I believe in, but I love Abbott’s scheme. For once I might be able to cash in on government largesse.

    Be a damn sight easier to get the missus in the sack with the promise of filthy lucre at the end, too.

  9. Simon

    So families where the woman is the/a major contributor of income should take a massive financial hit to have kids and have a nice home whereas the jobless and low performers should be supported, oh yes and women who have wealthy/well paid partners too should be immune to income deprivation. Well paid or just paid women should be getting that tax back however they can as role models for the next generation of female professionals. Sorry but this about the only tangible and genuine thing for sexual equality to be announced for 30 years. It’s not like women are a minority group either, your tine seems seriously dismissive of the needs of a huge group of hardworking voters that now regularly exercise that right to generate preferred electoral outcomes. The NDIS is a waste of money but this just isn’t. I do agree that the levy on businesses is crap though, they already do most of the heavy lifting monetarily.

  10. Monkey's Uncle

    Policies like this generous paid parental leave scheme really go to the heart of the facile nature of modern feminist policies. Modern feminism is based entirely on the paradoxical notion that women can be equal to men via chivalrous state entitlement programs. The idea that you cannot be genuinely equal while at the same time dependent on special pleading and programs designed to compensate for your particular needs and biological limitations never occurs to such people

    If you alter the rules of the game to favour women, and then build in enough hidden subsidies and transfers from men to women, then you can ensure that one way or another more women come out on top in various measures of achievement. Then you can laud these achievements and pretend that women are doing it all solely off their own steam. This is fundamentally a childish game, a bit like hoisting a small child up on your shoulders and then saying “look, now you are big and strong, and on top of the world!”.

    It is essentially a bullshit delusion that may be barely sustainable during periods of economic prosperity. but cannot survive forever. It is never a good idea for a people to completely lose touch with reality like this. One day, when you are in a tight spot, you may need to fall back on reality.

  11. Gab

    this about the only tangible and genuine thing for sexual equality to be announced for 30 years

    Reality is women have babies, not men. This sexual equality meme is rubbish. Grow up and face facts. people wanting to procreate can do it on their own dime and the offspring should not have to be paid for by either taxpayer or companies becuase of decisions made that have nothing to do with taxpayers or companies.

  12. Fisky

    Abbott’s scheme is superior to all existing policies which only encourage Labor voters to procreate.

  13. Arthur Or

    Fisky, I can understand where you are coming from but do you really want the world to be populated exclusively by university graduates? Let nature take its course I say.

  14. Token

    Modern feminism is based entirely on the paradoxical notion that women can be equal to men via chivalrous state entitlement programs.

    I believe this view needs to be tweaked.

    Women & dysfunctional couples are fighting to overcome the natural disadvantage that comes from an individual / 2 individuals competing against a couple working as a cohesive family.

  15. Pickles

    The hired and indentured help here consists of quite a few yummy mummies.

    At the end of one of my recent “soon belshevism shall be swept from this wide brown land, so invest in blindfolds and brick walls” rants one of the mummies was looking at me in disbelief.

    “I thought you were a Labor supporter” said the newest recruit (as her colleagues climbed under desks and into filing cabinets for shelter).

    How so my dear, asks I. “Because you have flexible employment arrangments for working mothers and I thought only Labor people do that” says she.

  16. Pedro

    Simon, right on man!, and you know, it shits me that I pay all that tax and don’t get any dole payments. Where’s the justice in that? Send me the money now!

  17. Fisky

    Abbott should pass the legislation immediately upon assuming office but time the introduction for July 1 2016. That will give him two budgets to get his house in order before this important and popular measure takes effect a few months out from the election.

  18. Arthur Or

    Fisky, I think he should indefinitely defer it prior to the election and then never mention it again.

  19. Monkey's Uncle

    Reality is women have babies, not men. This sexual equality meme is rubbish. Grow up and face facts.

    Indeed. But one of the hypocrisies and double think of modern feminism is that they pretend that gender differences are irrelevant and that the sexes are interchangeable whenever this suits their argument or is to the benefit of women, but will stress the importance of gender differences whenever they are in favour of women or can be used to justify policies designed to specifically benefit women.

    For example, if you suggest that we should place more stock in whether men have successful or well-paid jobs because they are more likely to be judged and valued by potential partners and wider society by their career success and status, feminists would reject this outright. i.e. when it comes to the desirability of equality-of-outcomes in the labour market between the sexes, we should just assume the sexes have identical needs and are interchangeable and androgynous.

    But when it comes to policies like paid parental leave, we must have specific policies to help women on the grounds that they have different needs to men.

    So we need to have more special programs to deal with the particular needs that biology imposes on women, in order to enable us to continue to live in denial of the possibility that men also have needs particular to their sex!

  20. Infidel Tiger

    Question: Would public servants be entitled to Abbott’s scheme?

    If so, all the female pubes must be fired at once.

  21. wreckage

    “Because you have flexible employment arrangments for working mothers and I thought only Labor people do that”

    The ALP hate flexible work arrangements and have worked hard to make them all illegal.

  22. cohenite

    Too late for Gillard.

  23. Fisky

    Transfers from men to women of this kind are popular because men see it as helping their wife, mother and sister, which ultimately benefits them too. But transfers from one group to another, such as from Christians to Muslims, are more divisive because both men and woman from the payer group lose out.

  24. For a split second I agreed with Simon, and then thought, ‘Why stop there? I do a lot of good in the world, as do a great many other menopausal cat ladies, useful singletons, bachelor uncles, grandparents and universal aunts. Where’s our handout? Why can’t we be paid to stay home and babysit other people’s kids while their parents fulfil themselves in the workforce?’

    Of course this would mean giving up a substantial salary in my case, but if the Gummint were prepared to cover it, I could be in someone’s home playing incy-wincy-spider tomorrow.

    Come ON – we have to STOP DOING THIS, or we will never get the annual tax return form back down to a few modest pages. STOP IT. STOP IT NOW. And start the long slow process of rolling back the rebates, packages, rorts, handouts and lurks.

  25. candy

    One good thing, I suppose, is it allows women and their families to adjust to life with new baby for six months before rushing back to work so it makes for happier more relaxed mothers/fathers/workers.
    But it sounds like a luxury item to some extent.

  26. Infidel Tiger

    It sounds like the sort of scheme a country with no net debt, a budget surplus, a booming resources sector and low tax rates could implement without anyone noticing.

  27. Why can’t we be paid to stay home and babysit other people’s kids while their parents fulfil themselves in the workforce?’

    Well if this scheme comes in, you can do the second six months. Parents will be cashed up and with a child to care for.

    Dropping back to the demographics issue, what hasn’t been made a lot of is that this is a replacement for the baby bonus. So yes, its going to shift the procreation incentive up the scale. This is probably a good thing societally…

    I wonder if it wouldn’t be better packaged as a 50% pay – at that point the cost drops back to the same order of costs as the current scheme.

    Not that making this change would fly politically.

  28. twostix

    So families where the woman is the/a major contributor of income should take a massive financial hit to have kids and have a nice home

    So your “solution” to this non-problem is to stick a gun in my family’s face…we who have taken a massive financial hit to have kids and a nice home are now also apparently supposed to “keep” you in the lifestyle to which you are accustomed.

    Then again you get the gun out when “mum”, after pocketing a cool $50,000 or so, goes back to work and starts raking in the Child Care Rebate and Childcare payment when you arrange low paid daycare workers to raise your child. All so you don’t have to “take a financial hit”.

    Good going you beta male – here’s a better idea – you get a real job and stop relying on your mrs and the taxpayer to keep you in the lifestyle you’re accustomed to you welfare sucking bum.

  29. Ant

    That Abbott persists the PPL nonsense is proof that the Labor and media class campaign to paint him as a “woman hater” has turned out to be a roaring success.

    Imagine the lather they’d work themselves into if he was to do a U-turn on it.

    The scheme is yet another Big Government program that stands to be rorted blind, but, hey, it will keep scores of useless bureaucrats fattened with great remuneration and perks.

  30. candy

    How does Tony Abbott backtrack on it without being vilified by Labor Party who will compare it to the carbon tax lie?
    They are just waiting to jump on it.

  31. I see that husbands only get two weeks on full pay under the scheme as well.

    How discriminatory.

  32. Tom

    It sounds like the sort of scheme a country with no net debt, a budget surplus, a booming resources sector and low tax rates could implement without anyone noticing.

    Yes, IT, there is the small matter of the $800-$1000 in annual interest payments for every household in the country, plus $1000-$1200 p.a. per household in repaying the debt over the next 20 years — let’s call it $2000 per household p.a. which this bunch of fucking pigs sucking on the public trough have saddled the productive people of this country with in JUST SIX YEARS from a position of zero government debt in 2006-07 — on top of a 65% increase in annual government spending — $30,000 per household. That’s real money — our money.

  33. twostix

    So yes, its going to shift the procreation incentive up the scale. This is probably a good thing societally…

    What society needs is more children who as babies were not raised by their mothers?
    Or more children whose mother would only stay home with them as long as she was being paid to do so?

    I like the Eugenics theme to these discussions. When it gets out the left are going to have quite the field day with it and all those “battlers” in Western Sydney and regional Australia are just going to love hearing themselves being ring fenced out of “procreating” because they’re apparently the unfit.

    The women who need to be paid tens of thousands of dollars to stay at home to look after their own new born baby aren’t the “unfit” though.

  34. I would support the policy with some modifications:

    * keep the levy on big business
    * keep the entitlement to mothers the same as under Labor, with one crucial addition to make it more in line with European schemes – a 10kg Camembert for each new Mum.

  35. Milton Von Smith

    “Small business cannot compete for female labour on the same basis as does big business.”

    Really. I would have thought that since small business is the largest employer in Australia, it would also be the largest employer of females as well.

  36. John Mc

    After thinking about this for a while I’m starting to think tax breaks for kids are a good idea.

    By ‘good idea’ I mean it’s pragmatic, politically saleable, keeps most people happy but doesn’t increase churn, lowers taxes but has welfare outcomes to the less fortunate but hardworking.

    This should satisfy the libertarians because it lowers taxes and reduces handouts, the conservatives because it encourages the families and provides a financial break for them, and the nationalists because it encourages people to have kids to sustain the population but the people doing it are employable for a change.

    Furthermore, once you got the middle class used to these breaks it would be difficult for the ALP and Greens to get them to give it up and go back to ‘tax and churn’ welfare, thereby forcing them to reduce their vote buying handouts.

    Can anyone see big negatives to this?

  37. JC

    Stix

    The problem is the welfare state. Taxes are just to high.

  38. Fisky

    Australia already has a policy of eugenics, but in reverse. The Left won’t be able to explain why it is morally acceptable to preference poor/unemployed family formation over middle class parents. This sensible initiative of Abbott’s will create a level playing field for all women who wish to pursue their careers and have a baby at the same time, while increasing the proportion of kids being brought up in stable, middle-class families.

  39. H B Bear

    The beauty of being a single, white male taxpayer is you know you are never going to get a government welfare handout. You are never disappointed on Budget night.

    People got used to reductions in marginal tax rates under Costello. If Abbott can get to the stage where he can re-introduce them it will be a powerful sales tool. Reduction in government debt is one thing – tax cuts can be seen every pay cheque.

  40. JC

    John Mc

    Lower taxes for all and level the playing field that way.

    A high income earning gal that wants a kid would be able to self finance tha way.

    Greatly reduce welfare and the consequences in the lower rungs would be obvious.

    No one should be paying more than 10% in taxes.

  41. Ellen of Tasmania

    The PC needs to take into account the higher average IQ that will result from the policy over time,

    I think you are conflating intelligence with wisdom.

    Is this the Fisk eugenics doctrine?

  42. Ellen of Tasmania

    Do you conflate A with B or A and B?

  43. John Mc

    The beauty of being a single, white male taxpayer is you know you are never going to get a government welfare handout. You are never disappointed on Budget night.

    That’s pretty much it. Your role in society is to be productive and pay taxes for others to spend, so……just shutup.

    Your best hope in that regard – or to achieve fairer, flatter, across-the-board reform like JC suggests above – is to try and join forces with the high-flying single women who have chosen a career as a lifestyle choice, and don’t want to be subsidising other people’s choices.

  44. Gab

    Small business can’t afford to pay maternity leave

    Small business can’t afford to pay a lot of things big business can, that’s the nature of the beast – hence small and big are descriptors for a reason – it has been ever thus.

    and so what is a competitive attraction for women working for large business should become an entitlement for all women.

    There are many, many reasons for choosing to work in big business versus small and vice versa. PPL is not going to be the deciding factor in the main.

    Hockey really came up with some lame excuses.

  45. What society needs is more children who as babies were not raised by their mothers?
    Or more children whose mother would only stay home with them as long as she was being paid to do so?

    So.. shifting people from six weeks with their child to six months is going to result in less time spent with their children?

    Or more children whose mother wcould only stay home with them as long as she was being paidcould afford to do so?

  46. Monkey's Uncle

    That Abbott persists the PPL nonsense is proof that the Labor and media class campaign to paint him as a “woman hater” has turned out to be a roaring success.

    The stupid thing is that it is probably not even politically smart anyway. The type of people who are impressed by this sort of Big Government largesse are probably not much more likely to vote Liberal because of it. Moreover, these policies are likely to be resented by a lot of people who are not women of child-bearing age, and the cost of it hurts the Coalition’s economic credibility.

    When will conservatives realise that it is not a winning strategy to try to feed off the crumbs from the left’s table?

  47. Gab

    That Abbott persists the PPL nonsense is proof that the Labor and media class campaign to paint him as a “woman hater” has turned out to be a roaring success.

    Read the papers, listen to the TV/radio. Abbott is getting pounded over this becuase he’s “giving” women on high salaries PPL.

  48. twostix

    Australia already has a policy of eugenics, but in reverse.

    I can’t tell if you’re being facetious or not. But to play devils advocate:

    Almost all family type welfare is non-means tested.

    The single biggest welfare sucking section of the middle class are dual income families with kids in daycare. I know a family on about $170,000 a year expecting a $15,000 lump sum for the CCR plus FTB – about $17k of cash welfare all up. Both are public servants.

    Now they’re also going to get ~$40k cash because they have a another kid?

    This has the potential to absolutely blow up in Abbotts face, right now there are hundreds of thousands of “stable middle class families” where mum has taken a few years off who are already subsiding the professional classes families and now we find out that they’re going to get $50k or more to take six months off?

    How do you think that’s going to wash in the marginals when the MSM and Labor are done with it? The narrative will be framed as the power suit wearing, cold hearted inner city aristocratic technocrat female who doesn’t like her kids taking money from the warm hearted, hearth and home “battler” family whose mother has quit her job for a couple of years to raise the babies then go back into part time work then full time later.

    The ads write themselves and they will work.

  49. The beauty of being a single, white male taxpayer is you know you are never going to get a government welfare handout. You are never disappointed on Budget night.

    Excuse me for crashing the pity party, but I got in ahead of you the other day by arguing that the question ‘Are you the only person in the country not currently receiving a handout on account of being unmarried and childless?’ should be on the FIRST page of the tax return, not on the last, after the pages and pages of rebates and palaver.

    Single white female taxpayers are in the same boat. I hereby demand child-substitute care rebates for the family moggy. All those tins of sardines don’t just grow on trees.

  50. John Mc

    The Left won’t be able to explain why it is morally acceptable to preference poor/unemployed family formation over middle class parents.

    Fisky, I can’t work out if this is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but it’s wrong either way.

    Firstly, Teh Left won’t feel they need to explain anything beyond class envy. They don’t need anything beyond that kid has a better home life and is doing better in school than that kid, therefore we need to government to redistribute. Ever. It’s their creed.

    Secondly, the PC left have an underlying misanthropy. The notion they respect middle-class family units for raising healthy, happy kids with bright futures is ridiculous to say the least. They hate the family unit. Suburban, aspiration families are the capitalist bourgeois, and what’s worse, they’re getting richer and more successful!!

  51. JamesK

    The problem is the welfare state. Taxes are just to high.

    I think the problem is size of government spending.

    There’s no chance of tax reductions for the foreseeable future decade at least thanks to Kruddy and Da Slapper.

    My worry is that Abbott likes big gov spending too.

  52. Read the papers, listen to the TV/radio. Abbott is getting pounded over this becuase he’s “giving” women on high salaries PPL.

    So Abbott is putting himself squarely in a place where he is receiving friendly fire.

    Interesting. Political move or ideological move?

  53. Tom

    Read the papers, listen to the TV/radio. Abbott is getting pounded over this becuase he’s “giving” women on high salaries PPL.

    Gab, I assume you mean ABC News24 and John Faine.

  54. Gab

    Friendly fire from lefties? I don’t think so.

  55. twostix

    So.. shifting people from six weeks with their child to six months is going to result in less time spent with their children?

    Here’s a hint for you: Most mothers don’t go straight back to work. Many don’t go back to work for the first year, many more still don’t go back full time for years. 98% don’t want to go back full time at all.

    All of these families cope, but apparently a special “super” class of family needs to be given massive wads of cash to do what hundreds of thousands are already doing of their own volition in order to teach the welfare class a lesson and produce a super race of children of paper-pushing professionals.

    Most middle class women don’t have to go back to work. They do so because they are “bored”, don’t like the work of being at home or don’t want to give up the 2011 Prado, 2008 Patrol and $650,000 house. All of that is fine, but we’ll not pay for it.

  56. Gab

    many more still don’t go back full time for years.

    True and under this scheme they’ll get paid six months’ salary and still not go back to work.

  57. Pingback: Liberal Paid Parental Leave scheme is just welfare at Catallaxy Files | Cranky Old Crow

  58. Hear hear, twostix and Gab. HEAR HEAR.

    What was that about the NBN being a case of ‘throwing good money after bad’, Mr Abbott?

  59. Monkey's Uncle

    Single white female taxpayers are in the same boat. I hereby demand child-substitute care rebates for the family moggy. All those tins of sardines don’t just grow on trees.

    Phillipa, I think you missed out childless from the list of demographic variables. I am sure you will find that single, white females with children generally receive a fair amount of government handouts. Moreover, I would suggest that in general single childless women probably benefit more from public spending on things like health and education compared to single childless men.

    Excuse me for crashing the pity party

    Well you at least had the good manners to excuse yourself, so I guess I can forgive a little factual inaccuracy. But if those who complain about government redistribution away from themselves are henceforth to be dismissed as self-pitying whiners, may I suggest this will make life a bit more difficult for those of us who want to argue against the growth of government. Might be useful to think of that before delivering a cheap shot!

  60. Gab

    To ensure equality, all females of non-child bearing age plus all males, who are not eligible or cannot take advantage of the PPL should be given the equivalent six months’ pay – as per the PPL – and time off to pursue either study or volunteer work.

    I think that’s only fair and equitable. Six months to better the planet. I’m proposing six months in Tuscany to study the effects of climate change on the local produce.

  61. C.L.

    Case closed:

    Cox says Abbott parental scheme better.

    Longtime women’s advocate Eva Cox says the coalition scheme is much better than Labor’s and would be good for the economy.

    Ms Cox said Mr Abbott’s scheme ran for longer and paid people their wages, reinforcing its status as a work-related benefit, not a welfare payment.

    “We want want to change the culture of workplaces as well as give women something to live on when they are actually out of the workforce,” she told Sky News.

    Ms Cox dismissed business concerns about a proposed 1.5 per cent levy on large companies to pay it.

  62. twostix

    True and under this scheme they’ll get paid six months’ salary and still not go back to work.

    How will that be enforced? Are they going to force women to go get a full time job after six months or pay the money back? How long do they have to work for when they go back to work to be in the “clear” and get to keep the money?

    Or is it just going to end up being a rorted cash payment of half a years wages for women who get pregnant while they are working full time creating a special class of family and more divisions by the welfare state.

    Another Labor ad for the marginals writes itself:

    Scene: In the hospital delivery suite: First bed with a homely stay at home mother of a two year old just has had another baby and her family stoically huddle around her in a grey, darkened corner watching on as in the next bed another woman, stereotypically professional, has also just had a baby and is having massive amounts of cash handed to her by a caricature of Tony Abbott saying “Your baby is worth more”.

    Labor are going to cynically hammer them on this. It’s ripe for an envy attack and they’d better be ready.

  63. pete m

    Nah he should keep it to keep wedging women’s lib types who say they hate him while others like Eva say they have to support it

    been fun to watch

    Best scheme is a super fund type account women and employers can voluntarily pay into to support their maternity leave. The govt could also tip in funds in there for low income earners like the super boost for low income earners for voluntary contrib

    Start it small and have the big goal of 1 day it matching 1 year of wages per child.

    women will prefer employers who will offer to pay more into this fund etc

    let the market decide where women who want kids want to work

    small business will survive etc

  64. Aliice

    Bugger. I never got the baby bonus. I never got childcare subsidies. I never got parental leave. Bloody namby pambies paying off people for having kids. Why did I miss all these handouts?

  65. Monkey's Uncle

    Just as a follow-up to my comment above, it may have been a little redundant to criticise Phillipa for not mentioning children in the list of variables, as her next sentence implied a lack of children as one variable.

    But more broadly, to suggest that single childless females and single childless males are in the same boat implies that once you take children out of the equation, there is little or no further government redistribution from males to females. This is nonsense. Are there no single childless women who benefit from government affirmative action, work in make-work feminist jobs, live longer than men and collect more pensions etc., use more government funded services, etc. etc.

    I am sorry to degenerate this thread into a battle-of-the-sexes debate, but I will reserve the right to call others on factually challenged statements.

  66. Fisky

    PeteM that alternative sounds very attractive and on reflection, I prefer your model.

  67. garry

    Wow, this has RORT writ large all over it. Of course Abbot’s thought bubble is dumb, but there must be thousands of ways for making a pile of dosh with manufactured arrangements on family farms, small businesses, sweetheart deals, etc. Bad luck for me-too old, wrong gender.
    Do not like the idea of reserving part of company tax for use of one section of community. It is “owned” by us all, not just clucky females who have gone to university. In much of the bush there are no paid jobs for women so their family will contribute to the tax cost with no prospect of sharing in the largesse.

  68. Empire Strikes Back

    Pete m – your suggestion for funding a social service from voluntary savings is eminently sensible, but will be seen as a threat to the tax eating gangsters. Where’s the bureaucracy? Where’s the churn?

  69. candy

    Doesn’t the PPL benefit ordinary working mothers too, just any mother that works and finds 2 salaries pays the rent/mortgage school fees better and needs to work?

  70. Dianne

    I agree that this is a crap policy – ffs, if you want kids pay for them your bloody self! Remember 50% of households don’t have kids.

    The thing that I found amazing today, is the labor party’s response “Tony Abbott & his womyn problem” – these people are just embarrassing. The old truism that people rise to a level of imcomptence really says it all about gillard & co!

  71. Dianne

    Gab at 5.27 – I’ll vote for that :)

  72. Helen Armstrong

    husbands only get two weeks on full pay

    In a gay couple, which one is the husband? The one on the highest wage/salary?

  73. Gab

    So does this PPL also apply when the woman/man working has a child through a surrogate? What about adoption, applies there too?

  74. dan

    oh my god

    I didn’t realise how bad this was…
    seriously – only the MOTHER gets the cash?
    a family can’t choose which carer gets supported??
    and gay couples???
    this is beyond stupid

  75. JC

    In a gay couple, which one is the husband? The one on the highest wage/salary?

    Presumably medical science hasn’t got us to the point where non-hetro penetration can induce pregnancy for the receiver…. if you know what I mean. In other words it’s not really their kid.

    I would assume they could be treated like adoptive parents.

  76. sunshine

    Abbott is boxed in on this having made so much of Juliars changes of mind thus far. Looks like we are going to get it . Im not sure how I feel about my tax dollar being spent on helping someone have a kid ,theres already too many of those around . I would propose taxing them instead. The big problem with his PPL tho is ,as Fran Kelly pointed out , low income earners will get 40% more than from Labor but high earners will get several hundred % more .
    I suppose welfare for those that dont need it isnt a novel concept here anyway — more of the same

  77. rebel with cause

    The cost of childcare is much more of an impediment to labour force participation than whether the government pays maternity leave. Why do childcare staff have to be degree qualified? All I ask is that they feed and entertain my kids while I’m at work but instead I have to pay for gold plated intensive care. Increasingly it doesn’t make sense for women to go back to work because childcare has become so expensive thanks to all the government red tape.

  78. Aliice

    Quite so rebel. It is getting ridiculous BUT this government wants continuous professional development for all including stop and go sign holders (I may exaggerate slightly but now wven they need a course) but they really have taken the “ejacation” of the labour force way way too far and cant keep their mitts out of their own burgeoning idealistic view of the perfectly schooled workforce (preferable in a registered training organisation run by a bunch of shonks)

    … quality control by government… which we now all pay for… and which keeps the public servants in jobs and the rest of us out of jobs.

  79. dover_beach

    I think Helen was being satirical.

  80. .

    The way to destroy the popularity of this scheme is to destroy the demographic support for it; to wit, the APS ought to be cut back severely.

  81. .

    pete m

    Effectively we would have that with flexible labour markets.

    As always, conservatives and libertarians ought to match socialist spending promises with tax cuts at least equal too but preferably doubling or tripling the benefit of such a policy.

  82. candy

    Just out of interest, if biology were different and men had the babies and had the opportunity to be at home with your baby and bond and breastfeed with no pressure for six months to get back to work, would you think the plan had some good points?

    Just asking!

  83. .

    rebel

    You are correct.

    The price of land (taxes, developer charges, egregious regulation) and the barriers to entry to childcare have really screwed the pooch here.

    What is ridiculous is you could put your kid in a sport or arts programme and it would require less qualification than someone wiping their butts and feeing them mush.

    Never forget that in NSW, some new houses are subject to a tax RATE exceeding 80% – after you’ve paid income tax.

  84. JC

    Just out of interest, if biology were different and men had the babies and had the opportunity to be at home with your baby and bond and breastfeed with no pressure for six months to get back to work, would you think the plan had some good points?

    Just asking!

    Okay, so what you’re saying is that if men were women would we like a plan that would have us home for 1/2 year? Is that right?

  85. .

    candy

    Your question is misguided.

    Laissez faire allows for that too happen, when it is feasible, and doesn’t make children too expensive to have or make employers think twice about employing women.

    So I put it to socialists as to why they hate women and those looking to start a family?

    Maybe if they had a brain, would they see the flaw in making childcare a professional career or making housing unaffordable?

  86. candy

    Dot,

    I agree, unffordable housing is the big problem I believe, like you say.
    Women work to pay the rent/mortgage and most would rather be with their babies, but it’s just not feasible these days.

  87. candy

    “Okay, so what you’re saying is that if men were women would we like a plan that would have us home for 1/2 year? Is that right?”

    yes.

  88. sunshine

    Maybe Im wrong but I was assuming a father could get PPL ? Surely its not limited to women only ?

  89. .

    That’s great sunshine. Now why can’t he just keep his money by paying less tax, rather than paying for a “service” such as getting his own income back off the Government?

    You fucken people…if you were mechanics you would deadest put an engine back together without putting the conrod pins in then when it went belly up, would blame the poor bloody customer/driver.

  90. dan

    Candy

    with no pressure for six months to get back to work,

    Candy there is all the pressure in the world for them and the entire damn country to get back to work as we simply don’t have enough cash to pay for everything we want. Screwing over one part of the population to provide a few fertile women with the illusion that they can get something for nothing doesn’t solve the problem.

  91. sunshine

    That’s great sunshine. Now why can’t he just keep his money by paying less tax, rather than paying for a “service” such as getting his own income back

    Because T Abbott is going to force it on us along with all the rest of the welfare for those who dont need it .
    I agree with you on this one Dot

  92. Piett

    One dubious thing about PPL, in addition to all the valid points made above, is that it seems to be a solution in search of a problem.

    Is low female participation actually, right now, in Australia, a genuine issue?

    We’re not at full employment. And it looks as if the labour market is tightening, not getting better. Anecdotally, it’s a buyers (ie employers) market out there, with applicant numbers swamping vacancies.

    So what’s the actual existing need for the policy?

  93. John

    The funny thing is that when you provide women with all equal work/pay conditions, plenty of welfare if they want to have kids and flexible working schedule so they can come back to work quicker and be more productive – what do they choose? Surprise, surprise – they want to stay with their kids for longer. Source:

  94. Megan

    This policy will blow up in Tony’s face if he persists with it. It’s plainly hypocritical given the constant harping from the LNP recently on the economy and the policies of TLS that business and taxpayers cannot afford to pay. So here’s a gold plated parental leave scheme that we are only going to make those nasty big businesses pay.

    Once women work out that the less you earn the less you get or that women who have chosen to stay home get nothing while women who can well afford to pay their own way get plenty, there will be a lot more unhappy opponents of the scheme.

    And how do you ensure that the women in question will return to work? If there is a minimum time to work after you get the payments how many will do the minimum and then quit? And if you do have to return to work for, or after, a certain time, why would you let the government and/or your employer decide the right time for you to hand your baby’s care to someone else?

    There are so many variables – what if your baby has special needs and you can’t return after six months, or it’s born prematurely and is in a NICU for four months before you can bring it home and parent, or you decide you want to be a stay at home parent? This will be nothing but trouble to implement and run but it will allow a whole new team of public servants with managers, Senior managers, and department heads all to be employed and paid for.

  95. WhaleHunt Fun

    Bad policy. Abbott is a worry. Being less catastrophically ignorant and stupid than Gillard is no compliment. Hockie needs to keep him on a short leash

  96. Australia already has a policy of eugenics, but in reverse. The Left won’t be able to explain why it is morally acceptable to preference poor/unemployed family formation over middle class parents.

    Fisky the coalition has already affected the birth rates of the poor/unemployed so they reckon. I am sure you have heard of the baby bonus. I can’t see how middle class/rich people would have jumped at the idea of $5000 but up to $75000 now you are talking real money. Maybe can call it a bit of balance LOL.

  97. Ellen of Tasmania

    1. I don’t like the underlying assumption that women who choose to stay at home are unproductive. Maybe some are – as are some paid workers – but to assume that home-work is unproductive is wrong-headed.

    2. If we need a solution to the problem of couples being able to afford to have kids, then surely we should look at what has made it unaffordable. People have been having kids for a while – why has it become too hard now?

  98. felix

    Yes, I am with those that think putting the question to the party room is a good idea. It’s a win win option.
    Should the party room reject it, as they should, Tony can close the book on it and move on. Should the party room support him, sigh, then at least those dissenters within the Party would be expected to move on. The point is it’s an internal distraction the party can do without. With the commanding lead we have in the polls, we don’t need to waste time on the base, we have to get the undecided on board.

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