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Planning to have a baby in the next few years? We might have good news.

Paid Parental Leave is one of the more confusing but important issues on the political agenda, and looming cuts to the current scheme have been a continuous, niggling worry for many working Australians planning to have kids.

While less extreme than his predecessor Tony Abbott’s plan to tackle so-called “double dippers”, the proposal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took to the last election threatened to cost some families more than $11,000 in crucial support.

Add to that the fact that 99 per cent of those who access the PPL scheme are mothers, any potential cuts would also unfairly impact of women.

But here’s some good news: it’s looking like they’re still doomed in the new Senate.

The Turnbull government's proposed PPL cuts looked doomed in the new Senate. Source: Facebook

In the lead up to the election Social Services Minister Christian Porter conceded the changes weren't going to make it through by July 2, giving expectant mums a brief reprieve.

While he vowed to keep pushing his reform agenda, it's likely he won't get far, which means the current scheme could remain intact for at least the next three years.

As many as 39 Senators in the new parliament have pledged to vote against the plan, according to a pre-election survey by community campaigning group Fair Agenda.

There are 76 Senators in the upper house, so that's a clear majority vowing to block any changes.

The Nick Xenophon Team, Jacqui Lambie Network, The Greens and ALP have all committed to fighting any cuts to PPL.

Executive Director of Fair Agenda Renee Carr is optimistic they'll stick to their word. "This is great news for working parents," she said, adding she felt the Government were trying to "drag us backwards on this issue".

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Nurses, teachers, ambos and retail workers would have lost between six to 16 weeks of income under the changes, researched commissioned by the organisation and conducted through Sydney University showed.

Many  working Australians could lose up 16 weeks income under the planned PPL cuts. Source: Ambulance Victoria Facebook

"There has been huge community opposition to the Government’s planned cuts, since they first announced them on Mother’s Day last year. It’s great to see that a number of parties have listened to the community’s concerns, and are standing up for working families on this issue."

The current PPL scheme was introduced by Labor in 2011 and offers 18 weeks paid at minimum wage, in addition to whatever arrangement is agreed upon with an employer.

Under Turnbull's plan, parents can merely "top up" their employer's scheme to the equivalent of the 18 weeks with government money, thus leaving them far less likely to be able to afford the 26 week minimum leave recommended by experts.

The current model, which was based on a 2009 report from the Productivity Commission, was designed specifically to ensure more women would get that time.

"Ostensibly, as you can imagine those proposed changes have a massive impact on people planning to have a baby," Carr said.

"We’ve heard from members planning to have babies who've held off because they wont be able to afford it."

Featured image: iStock

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