Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Minister for Finance and Deregulation
29 February 2012
The Opposition has finally admitted that Australian businesses will be taxed to fund its “Rolls Royce” Paid Parental Leave scheme.
Today on radio, shadow finance spokesperson Andrew Robb admitted:
“We will fund the paid parental leave through a tax ... a levy ... on businesses, many of whom have their own schemes in place.”
ABC 774 - MELBOURNE - 29 FEBRUARY 2012
Mr Robb’s admission today undercuts Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s continual boasting of the Opposition being a party of lower taxes.
He needs to explain why they claim to be a party of lower taxes when Mr Robb has now confirmed their paid parental leave scheme will be funded by a new tax on business.
This comes after yesterday’s Coalition party room meeting which confirmed how little support there is for Mr Abbott’s scheme.
Liberal MP Russell Broadbent declared he found it hard to explain the “extravagant” scheme “for rich people”, while Senator Sue Boyce described it as a “Rolls Royce scheme”, saying the Coalition should consider something that was “more like a Holden”.
Sources also told The West Australian newspaper that the scheme is “practically friendless” in the Shadow Cabinet.
This is yet another example of economic recklessness by Mr Abbott.
The Coalition’s policy is unaffordable, undeliverable and unsupported.
Meanwhile, the Gillard Government delivered Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme more than a year ago – a funded scheme that’s currently being delivered to 140,000 Australian families.
Clearly the Coalition is divided on this issue, just as they can’t agree on whether or not, or when, they’ll deliver a budget surplus.
Perhaps the Opposition should spend a bit more time looking at their figures and having their policies costed properly, and less time making promises they won’t be able to deliver.