Maternity leave plan will encourage more mums: Cobb

Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave plan will be a big incentive for women in the workforce to have children, according to Member for Calare John Cobb.
Nanjing Night Net

The opposition leader’s scheme offers 26 weeks of paid leave at the new mother’s current rate of pay, up to a salary of $150,000.

To be funded by a levy on the nation’s biggest businesses, the scheme is significantly more generous than the Gillard Government’s 18 weeks of maternity leave paid at the minimum wage level.

Mr Cobb said the opposition’s scheme would provide an incentive to women who might not consider having a family at all.

“So many women feel they have to establish a career because of financial pressure, then they find they can’t afford to stop working to have children,” he said.

“It will provide them with the opportunity to have children once they are settled into their careers.

“It will also provide an opportunity to have children early on, work for a while, then maybe have one or two more.

“Modern life is about two parents going out to work, maybe that’s because our expectations are too high, I don’t know.”

There has been a lot of criticism about the inequity of the plan which sees highly paid women receiving considerably more money than women who earn very little.

But Mr Cobb said he thinks women on lower wages will still welcome it.

“I think you would be surprised how many women in this community are all for it,” he said.

“Those women who are not working at all still get the baby bonus, and those who work part-time will still get minimum wage for six weeks.

“I’m not ever sure what is fair in life, but the point is if you are earning $100,000 you will set your debt and life to $100,000.

“If you earn $60,000 then you will set your debt and life at that.

“The same decisions to have kids will be made whether you earn $60,000 or $100,000.”

Mr Abbott’s scheme, which is already being opposed by big business, is set to be funded by a 1.5 per cent levy on about 3200 of the biggest companies – those with a taxable income of more than $5 million.

This levy was to have been fully offset by a 1.5 per cent cut in company tax for all, which has since been replaced with the promise of a “modest” company tax cut.

The government’s scheme is funded by the taxpayer.

Mr Cobb said in essence one in every 200 companies will pay for the scheme.

He said the Coalition is not a party that believes in more taxes and greater regulation, but there is no alternative.

“This is also about productivity,” he said.

“The higher echelons of wage earners are probably from the bigger corporations, so while they will pay a levy, they will also benefit from it.”

Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave plan will be a big incentive for women in the workforce to have children, according to Member for Calare John Cobb.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.