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What’s the go with Paid Parental Leave?

August 4, 2010

My knowledge of (and to tell you the truth interest in) the Paid Parental Leave Schemes of the two main political parties is pretty non-existent. If I was to surmise what it was all about it would be that the Labor scheme is considered too puny and the Coalition scheme too generous. That view, however, is based on the “policy explanation by sound bite” information that has managed to seep it’s way into my subconscious.

So it was with interest that I listened to Sharman Stone being questioned on the Coalition’s scheme on MTR but I was soon horribly disappointed as host, Andrew Bolt, let his obvious distaste for the scheme shut down any meaningful conversation. In fact it was Andrew’s aggressive attitude that got me curious as to what all the fuss was about. This comment by reader Jane on the Andrew Bolt blog was far more informative and for me, quite persuasive:

Andrew, you need to let your personal prejudice toward a paid parental scheme not cloud your objectivity.

Your argument against the Liberal scheme is biased and flawed.

Biased in that you hold this view that all mothers should stay at home with their children which isn’t practical today.

95% of couples that own a home and want to have children need two incomes to survive.

You trot out the Labor line that new mums on the Liberal plan could potentially be paid up to $75k. OK, hands up how many professional women are there in Australia earning $150K or more? Answer – very few.

Most professional women planning to have babies are aged 22-36 with incomes of $30k-$75k. Nearly all of these have paid HECS taxes for university study. Do you expect them and the government to just waste that investment in their careers?

You also say the scheme is open to rorting because a woman on $150K a year might pocket the $75K from the government and return to work for a day before quitting.

How many women in senior management jobs earning upwards of $150k are going to do that to an employer? Probably none, not if they ever want to have any sort of career after that.

You need to get some perspective on this issue. We are a small country and we need to have a female workforce that has the opportunity to move in and out of the workforce while raising a family.

Otherwise we will end up with missed opportunities and migration plugging every gap in our society.

Please don’t patronise with any of that ALP Paid Parental scheme stuff. It is just a re badged Baby Bonus paid in more installments. It (the payment) is pathetic and an insult to any professional person – male or female.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 4, 2010 10:28 pm

    I appreciate Jane’s comments on Andrew Bolt’s blog. Coming from a generation which never enjoyed any form of maternity (let alone paternity) leave I wonder how different it would have been for me to have such splendid assistance. Women seeking a professional career, and even those who don’t but still have to work, deserve the support of a society which espouses the right of women to a career (or employment) and motherhood. And let’s face it, society spends an awful lot of money educating women. It is time men like Andrew Bolt appreciated that fact and that not all women have the luxury of opting in and out of work at will.

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