The Turnbull Government’s Paid Parental Leave will lower family incomes forcing many parents to choose between putting very young babies in childcare, or women – and some men – stepping out of the workforce.
The $968 million cut will mean a huge strain both financially and emotionally for families struggling to juggle family and work commitments.
This will especially hit low and middle income earning families with the average taxable income of Paid Parental Leave recipients at $47 thousand.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said “the cuts proposed by the Government reject conventional wisdom about the best outcome for babies and the economic benefit of keeping women in the workforce.
The amount of paid time at home will be capped to when the baby is just four months old rather than the four months being a minimum.
Unions, parents and health experts recognise that we need 26 weeks paid leave plus superannuation in order to care for young babies and support future generations.
Women will be forced to choose between caring for their babies and paying the bills and undoubtedly many will leave the workforce which is not what we want.
Unions are dismayed by the move and will not accept any cuts to the minimum Paid Parental Leave entitlements.
The current system is working well and 18 weeks at the minimum wage is a very modest scheme by international standards with 26 weeks being recommended for infant and maternal wellbeing.
The Government has taken the easy road of cuts rather than clamping down on superannuation concessions and other tax loopholes that favour high income earners and multi-national companies.”