One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has suggested that paid parental leave schemes encourage women to deliberately get pregnant in order to access welfare payments.
Her comments come as the Coalition failed to secure Hanson’s support for their proposed $4 billion omnibus savings bill.
The bill outlines cuts to family tax benefits, unemployment payments and paid parental leave. Some of the savings from these cuts are linked to funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
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Hanson told The Australian that she would not support the bill in its current form because the paid parental leave benefits were “too generous”.
The bill proposes the extension of the current scheme from 18 to 20 weeks, but will limit access if a mother also receives paid leave from their employer.
The Senator believes the leave arrangements are open to exploitation by women who work part-time.
"They get themselves pregnant and [the government will] have the same problems they did with the Baby Bonus," Hanson told The Australian.
"People just doing it for the money."
She said that the country has a "welfare handout mentality".
"I’ve gone through a bloody tough life myself as a single mother and held down a part-time job. I had no assistance, no help from anyone," she said.
"Unless we make the tough decisions, we will not be able to provide for those in the future who need a helping hand, like the aged, the sick and the needy."