There is the deliberate leak today in the Tele that Tony’s fair-dinkum paid parental leave scheme is about to be junked. I could have told you this months and months ago: the government had simply not done the necessary groundwork (eg. negotiate with the states to fold their schemes into the new national one).
Why Abbott allowed the fiction of this souped-up PPL still being implemented is anyone’s guess. The damage being done to the Coalition brand was immense and made selling budget savings nigh impossible.
But now it seems that the government intends to redirect the ‘savings’ (what? from a policy that hasn’t been implemented and for which there was never a specific Budget allocation) to childcare. So shovelling more taxpayer money out the door for no real outcome.
But wait there’s more: it seems that the government intends to retain the 1.5 per cent levy on big companies, a levy which does not attract franking credits. Are they kidding?
There was some sort of narrative about the levy to pay for the PPL – big companies would be able to withdraw from their own private PPLs and so the cost of the levy would not be as large as it initially appears. (I’m not saying I buy this, but at least there was a story.)
Now we are making these companies – actually the shareholders and customers – pay the government’s childcare grocery bill. Oh, please.
And wait there’s more: lots of parents can access subsidised childcare without having to work or undertake some related activity.
Gosh, that makes sense – big companies really want to fund the social programs of governments. (And for the few companies that contribute to the childcare costs of their workers, do you think they will reduce their contributions because of the levy? The answer is a bit fat NO.)
I guess the desperate government will talk about fairness – the Labor Party will never rescind this levy, ever – but actually it is mum and dad shareholders and superannuants that will bear the cost of this stupid policy. Is that fair, let alone effiicient?
If you are getting rid of the baby (fair-dinkum PPL), tip out the bathwater (big company levy) too.
And here’s some complete guff from Joe (including a hint about the levy being retained):
The Treasurer said yesterday the “families package’’ was good for the economy because it encouraged women into the workforce.
“It’s actually good for Australia’s economy, good for jobs, to have more women choosing to work, but we’ve got to make that environment flexible and part of that is to have a families package that provides flexibility,” Mr Hockey said in western Sydney.
“The second thing is, and it’s hugely important, we’ve got to be able to fund whatever families package we have.”
Spare us, please: we have elected a big spending/big taxing and incompetent government like Labor was before.