The Prime Minister has succumbed to pressure over his paid parental leave scheme, with more concessions to be made to the unpopular plan.
Tony Abbott’s signature policy has faced opposition from all sides, including within his own party.
Mr Abbott flagged the changes last week, in another compromise for a plan he has been unable to get through an often unpredictable Senate.
When it was first announced, women earning $150,000 a year would have received a payment of $75,000.
The maximum payment has been pared back to $50,000 and may now be cut back even more.
The idea to fund the payments through a 1.5 per cent levy on big business remains, but the savings will now go towards the 50 per cent rebate for home carers, including nannies.
The current paid parental leave scheme, set up by the previous government, saw all women paid the minimum wage for 18 weeks, earning about $11,000.
Mr Abbott will have to wait to see if the changes will be accepted, with the proposal to go to cabinet in the new year.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said Mr Abbott should scrap the scheme altogether.
“Why do it as a half measure? Just get rid of it. It’s an extravagance, it’s an indulgence on the part of the Prime Minister,” he said.
“This is going to cost billions of dollars, even in its modified form.
“That money could be better spent in having more affordable child care. That is the barbecue stopper out there because more and more parents are finding it tougher to keep their kids in child care.”
This article was originally published by the ABC here and has been republished with full permission.
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