Paid Maternity Leave for Australia’s Women of Calibre

Today we have a short but excellent analysis of Mr Abbott’s “captain’s pick” PPL “policy” from the redoubtable Leone. Many thanks, Leone, for permission to turn your comment into a post, and hat tip to Billie for the suggestion and the links.

There are a lot of problems with Abbott’s PPL. It was initially suggested by his unmarried, childless barely past teenage daughters and is so obviously aimed at winning over the votes of wealthy women who work full time. It is supposed to encourage these ‘women of calibre’ to have more kids. Kids who will be raised by nannies and au pairs while mummy races back to her highly paid career as soon as the PPL money runs out. Kids who will be fodder for private schools later on. Money that will help the new parents keep up the payments on the lavish house and the lavish car and the lavish lifestyle at our expense.

For those working part-time or as casuals it’s not so great. To get the payment a woman has to prove that she has worked 330 hours – around 1 full day a week – in the 10 months before she had her child. Otherwise she misses out completely and gets the much lower baby bonus instead. Low-paid women could end up getting less than the current system pays. If you earn less than the minimum wage – the basis for the current payment – then you could get less PPL than you do now. More money for the rich, less for the low-paid. Typical.

Another twist to Abbott’s PPL. He’s all for using nannies and au pairs to provide government-subsidised child care. Will his ‘women of calibre’ be able to employ 457 workers to provide their in-home childcare? If they can they will, of course, pay these workers peanuts and keep a lot of that subsidy money for themselves. I bet there are already accountants working on ways it could be done.

Just to make it that much worse that great big new tax will – no ifs or buts, will – bump up prices across the board. Abbott will be taxing electricity providers, big retailers, insurance companies, fuel companies, transport companies and more and they WILL pass on the cost of his PPL. We will have higher prices in the supermarket, higher electricity prices, higher fuel prices, higher insurance costs – every aspect of daily life will cost more as we all fork out to cover the cost of Abbott’s scheme.

Or – Abbott’s company tax cut will compensate for the ‘levy’ and taxpayers will have to foot the whole cost. That means billions less available for essentials like health and education. Either way you look at it the average Aussie is going to be hit hard by this scheme.

The National are against Abbott’s policy, they say it discriminates against rural women.. There has been mumbling about Nats MPs crossing the floor to vote against the legislation should we elect an Abbott government. Let’s hope they never have to worry about that because they will once again be in opposition after 7 September.

1,414 thoughts on “Paid Maternity Leave for Australia’s Women of Calibre

  1. GD. this will interest you…..When I last mentioned the ‘Wends” and the “Sorbs” who came to South Australia as the first waves of “Germanic” immigrants..I noted that they were not really German, but Slavic.
    Well, further on that point, going back to my Tacitus “Germania”, I note the reference to the “Suebi” and the “Venerdi / Veneti” tribes……..of course, the ‘W’ in that part of Europe becomes a ‘V’ so Wend becomes : Vend or “Venerdi” and Seubi is of course the ancient name of the Serbs.
    So the Wends / Sorbs, are descendants of the Venerdi / Seubi that hassled the Romans so much!
    These tribes are certainly more centred in the Slavic race rather than the Germanic race, meaning that in efect, the early “German” immigrants were in part ( a very large part!) really Slavonic peoples that had been absorbed into the German Federation through political borders rather than cultural or genetic identification.
    Very , very interesting…and could have historical recording ramifications….
    There is another very interesting publication online by a Mr. Gordon Young in Australian Historical Archaeology on “Early German settlements in South Aust'” dealing with styles of buildings…all very informative.

  2. Yeah, it’s particularly bothersome because it always deletes your entire comment when that error comes up. I was upset for most of the day a couple of weeks back when it made an inspired long post completely vanish, and followed up by not letting me post for 2 hours afterward with a summarized version.

  3. My experience to date with posting problems is that the solution is to log on; refresh page; post comment. If you get an error message, refresh the page, don’t just go back.
    Select all + copy are your friends.

  4. The ABC24 link to Western Sydney “dropped out” just as Kevvie was talking about Sauron. Join the dots; there aren’t too many.

  5. I -almost- feel sorry for these ABC staff that think they’re saving their jobs by helping the LNP win the election.

    If Abbott wins the purge is still on, and those pretending to be pro-LNP will either be made redundant or replaced with actual pro-LNP’ers.

  6. Vote1Julia,

    Thank you for the andrew elder link – I keep telling myself that voters are more discerning than to vote for the abbott, but when I see Rudd refusing to tell voters how well they were served and how much was achieved for them, during the last three years, I fall back down the depression hole.

  7. So far, everything seems to be falling the way Andrew Elder has long predicted. The only caveat is that Rudd isn’t half the campaigner he was supposed to be.

    Despite Denese’s protestations, I still agree with Elder that Gillard would have beaten Abbott quite easily, running on her government’s achievements, and think it’s madness that Rudd is virtually ignoring the last three years. Labor have a big story to tell and to not champion it is both uninspired and reckless.

  8. Mr.Rudd, when are you going to put out the figures of what CEF and the price on carbon emissions is costing. How much has it sent up the cost of production and living. Let us know how many jobs it has created. Let us know how many industries have lowered their power costs, with the assistance from CEFC and other bodies.

    This is the best way, to undermine Mr. Abbott’s claim that all that is wrong with this country, is the carbon tax and MRRT.

    And not least of all, has it lowered carbon emissions.

  9. It would have been a sad day for Australian politics, if Ms Gillard could not have given Abbott a good run for his money, relying on her achievements, over the last three years.

    She not only put her own agenda in place, but finished off what Rudd appeared unable to achieve. Gillard had laid strong platform, for this election. Much of is set in concrete, with legislation already in place. NDIS and Better schools immediately come to mind.

  10. Denese is so worried about what the “lurkers” might think. Let’s hope some of them have access to the PM and pass on our thoughts. (yeah yeah I know…fantasyland all round).

  11. The election that I hope this one will follow precedent is the Victorian 2010 election.

    Brumby led in the polls the whole time, sometimes with a 60-40 lead, all except the last one, and he lost. And Brumby was supposed to be a darling of the media, even Andrew Bolt liked him. But voters in the end didn’t. And Brumby wasn’t nearly as a repulsive excuse of a man that Abbott is.

    Buut, if Abbott does win, it won’t be a tame opposition facing him. If we can resist eating each other and direct the anger at his party of decrepit monsters, a win in 2016 can be likely. Voters would have proven that they can vote angry oppositions back into power faster than repentant hand-wringing ones anyway.

  12. (Hope it’s not too long)

    Dear Friend,

    Last January my beautiful son Jarvis was full of beans and running around when he fell over and bumped his head. That split second moment began a hell of a year for our family as we’ve tried to cope with a Queensland public health system that’s under pressure.

    After Jarvis fell over, his face swelled up – his forehead and around his eyes were really bad. To this day our son has a lump on his forehead that just won’t go away. Jarvis has been diagnosed with fibromatosis – it’s not cancerous, which is a relief. But we’re still trying to get to the bottom of what’s caused his condition so we can get the medical care he needs. Cuts to the health system means that getting treatment has become more of an endurance test rather than a simple matter of walking through our local hospital’s front door.

    I’ve spoken up because I’m really worried about what will happen if Tony Abbott gets his way and takes even more away from our public hospitals. Will you share my story with your friends to help get the word out about what’s at stake for Australia’s health system?

    Watch Lara’s Story

    We were told in April that an MRI for our little boy would be a four month wait – four long months! The hospital told us that scans have been reduced from one day per week to one day every few weeks because of the funding cuts.

    Our doctors and nurses are doing the best they can, I’m certain of that. But we can’t get to the bottom of what’s wrong with our son because we’re still waiting for specialist appointments that are taking far too long to come around. We can’t get him the treatment he needs until we get that information. And when we do, who knows how much making him better will cost.

    I work part-time and like most people, we don’t have money lying around for expensive specialists. We’ve already borrowed money for appointments and I’m prepared to do that again. But we shouldn’t have to.

    Health care is a basic right for all of us. But these days in Queensland, decent, affordable medical care in our public hospital system has been cut to the point that it’s only for the few.

    I don’t want anyone to be caught in no man’s land like we were this year. I don’t want anyone to have to try and cope with the uncertainty that comes when there isn’t enough funding to give our children the best possible care when they need it most.

    On September 7 I’m supporting the party that will invest in our health system, not cut it down. I hope you will share my story with your friends so they understand the choice we’re all making at this election.



    P.S. I want as many people as possible to hear my story so they understand what matters this election. Share my story and show your friends you care about quality health care like I do

  13. Kirsdarke
    About the pre-polling. You don’t need any proof. Whenever I’ve done it I just say I’ll be travelling. I lie, of course, I just prefer voting early, at a convenient time.

  14. Bowen calling block head Mathias bluff on the latest costings by Saul Eslake. They need to ramp this up.

  15. Thanks, Leone. I’ll see if I can do that when the polling booth opens in my suburb next week.

  16. We need to look not at what Abbott says, but at what he doesn’t say.
    He says he won’t cut doctor numbers – but he will not keep incresing the number of new medical students.
    He says he won’t remove anything from the PBS – but he will prevent new and better drugs being included.
    He says he won’t cut pensions – but he will change the way they are calculated to ensure there are smaller CPI increases and he will make sure that all those added extras are no longer indexed.
    He says he won’t cut funding for health – but he will make sure funding does not increase.

    You can keep going and work out more. It’s easy enough.

  17. Oh yeah, the branch meeting last night was fairly good. We just went over the campaign, and things are holding up for Labor here. It would’ve been just embarrassing to lose this seat.

    But I heard a really disgusting story that a staffer for another MP received almost daily emails of threats of sexual violence when Julia Gillard was in power. And it fits in with the utterly despicable collapse in the respect for women that Abbott, the LNP and Murdoch has been encouraging over the past 3 years.

  18. Kirsdarke
    My fear if fate does prevail that it will be a tame Opposition!

    Abbott will commence his Prime Ministership with another call for civility, respect and professionalism etc
    The media will still prop up the LNP.
    Furthermore, Labor do not have the ‘head kickers’ like the infestation of the current shadow front bench big mouths

  19. Kevin Rudd will be on Insiders on Sunday, the panel will be Malcolm Farr, Andrew Probyn and Michael Stutchbury. I won’t bother.

    Tony Abbott will also make a rare TV appearance on Sunday – on The Bolt Report. I won’t bother with that either.

    Meet The Press will have Peter Beattie and Christine Milne. I won’t be watching.

  20. Well then, if Australia wants the same social and economic collapse that Bush delivered to the USA, then all it has to do is keep bending over. Abbott will oblige them in 2 weeks.

  21. Is this going to be a stand-up fight, sir, or another bug-hunt?

    Bug hunt.

    I have already likened Abbott to a xenomorph, who occasionally forgets himself and eats a live rat straight out of the cage, to the horror of the real humans in the room.

    But in order to beat Abbott, Rudd should do more than use harsh language. He should list the achievements of the entire time of Labor in government, not just his own, minority time as PM.

    The punters don’t give a stuff about The Apology, and they’ve written off the GFC response – world beating as it was – as just “more waste”. They’ve forgotten how horrible WorkChoices was going to be to them and their families, especially if Howard won again and really put the boot in. They think Pink Batts was just a program designed to set fire to houses and murder hapless, over-enthusiastic boys. They know this because Rudd said so, in his cringeworthy 2010 mea culpa on the subject (followed up by sacking the Minister). They can’t believe the jerry-built “school halls” at their local educational establishment haven’t fallen down yet. That must be about to happen anytime soon. Labor loves waste. What else? The greatest moral challenge of our time was squibbed by him, and Rudd can’t bring himself to defend it, now that Gillard got it going, working even at this early stage to reduce emissions.

    Rudd has done more than light the fire. He’s let the tyres on the fire truck down, drained the water tank and cut the telephone lines… all so that he is the only one who has a chance to save the day, single-handedly.

    But while he’s been preening himself in his beaut new fireman’s outfit, the fire has spread. Perhaps he left it too late to save the day?

    Elder cites the Hare and the Tortise… but which is which?

    Is Abbott the hare, allowing himself to get complacent, thinking his personality lobotomy – from raving, wall-punching ratbag, to dignified statesman – has fooled the punters?

    Or is it Rudd, who thinks cheap popularity in the puffed-up polls was enough to get him over the line?

  22. “..I have already likened Abbott to a xenomorph…”

    Geesus Bill I had to google that one!
    You have put your intensive film viewing experience to further practical use.
    I personally just have ‘No Country for Old Men’ on automatic repeat.

  23. Tony Abbott will also make a rare TV appearance on Sunday – on The Bolt Report.
    Brave Sir Tony. Still putting himself out there for the really tough ones, I see.

  24. gorgeousdunny1

    [Brave Sir Tony. Still putting himself out there for the really tough ones, I see.]
    So how brave is he ? Fran on RN this morning said he has not appeared on the program for over a years and so far only a promise to appear some time during the campaign.

  25. Thanks,that sounds about right, jaycee, even though the Wends are all new to me. The changing national boundaries in the 17th to 19th centuries led to people assuming different nationalities without necessarily changing their addresses. I suspect there is slav blood in my friend. From memory in her family history book, they took the boat to SA from Hamburg.

  26. gorgeousdunny1

    A couple of months back I saw a doco on Wends in Texas. I wonder if the S.A. Wends are in touch with them ? From Wiki.

    [The Texas Wends or Wends of Texas are a group of people descended from a congregation of approximately 588 Sorbian/Wendish people under the leadership and pastoral care of John Kilian (Sorbian: Jan Kilian, German: Johann Killian) who emigrated from Lusatia (part of Germany) to Texas in 1854. The term also refers to the other emigrations (and all descendants) occurring before and after this group. However none came close to the size or importance of the Wendish culture in Texas.]

  27. Tony doesn’t have time for TV appearances. He’s a very busy man. His fitness program alone takes up hours every day. First the early morning run or bike ride, cameras in tow, followed by an hour-long complex lip workout in preparation for the day’s kiss-a-thon. After a hearty breakfast there is always the inevitable sporty stunt to be done. Tackling Broncos, jumping over tyres with the Army, climbing up and down embankments on the Great Ocean Road, all that kissing and puppy wrangling, it never ends. Then every evening there’s the winding-down bike ride or walk to relieve the stress of the day. Tony works hard at keeping himself in peak condition for the election trail. Time wasted sitting in a TV studio could be put to better use in the gym.

  28. EO,

    You have put your intensive film viewing experience to further practical use.
    I personally just have ‘No Country for Old Men’ on automatic repeat.

    Of course Chugur in No Country is an alien as well. That’s well understood. Lives only to kill its victims. Same as The Alien.

    The references, opening with Mike’s reference to a “bug hunt”, come of course from Aliens. The lieutenant mentions “xenomorphs”, at which time the wiser heads all nod and say, “Yep. Bug hunt.”

    “Harsh language” is also there, as in (when faced with the aliens ripping their way through the roof, someone cries wtte “We have find a way to kill these mothers”), Pvt. Hudson, noting the shortage of ammunition, asks desperately, “What are we going to use? Harsh language?”

    Hudson’s other two magnificent quotes were in response to someone saying, “God! It’s hot in here…” (in the fetid, dripping alien nest just prior to the massacre of the space marines), to which Hudson replied, “Yeah… but it’s a dry heat.” Couldn’t figure out an excuse to use that one.

    The other quote was Hudson saying, “Game over, man!”… which I thought too depressing.

    Another appropriate quote from Aliens might be used to characterize what seems to be the attitude some here have to Rudd. Corporal Dwayne Hicks gives Ripley a tracking bracelet, then says, “This doesn’t mean we’re engaged or anything.”

    Just do your job Ruddster. You made it about as hard as you could. Now put the fire out. We’ll vote for your side, but it doesn’t mean we’re engaged or anything.

  29. The story about Jarvis and his family having to negotiate the healthcare system in Qld contrasts markedly with my recent experience in the ACT. Once a problem was identified after an MRI ordered on the Monday and done the next day, followed up by several follow up CT scans – diagnosis and surgery recommended on the Friday and performed on the Monday. I think right there you can compare austerity and cut backs with proper and appropriate treatment – alleviating a lot of associated stress for families as well as better outcomes for patients (probably saving future health care dollars as well).

  30. Other election-appropriate Aliens quotes… (from memory):

    To all those taken by surprise with Abbott’s lead in the polls…

    RIPLEY: “They cut the power…”

    HUDSON: “How can they cut the power, man? They’re animals!”

    One for a cocky Abbott…

    SHUTTLE PILOT: “We’re in the pipe… five-by-five.”

    and a final warnng for Labor…

    HUDSON: “We’re on a ride to Hell. Goin’ DOWN!”

  31. Can I mention that Victoria Rollinson has good post ‘Talking about my Generation’ saying how disengaged the younger people are from politics. I fear their complacency will deliver an Abbott government.

  32. Just saw Minchin on 24 suggesting Rudd’s supposed rudeness to the fakeup artist constitutes an IR matter. Minchin is a low life who once praised smokers for dying early, his presence as a commentator on ABC shows how low Aunty has fallen. I notice the interviewer ( I can’t remember all their names) didn’t ask his opinion on tobacco funding the LNP.

  33. BB – From the part where they figure out Burke (the company man) is trying to smuggle an alien back to earth by impregnating one of them:

    Hudson ” I say we grease this rat-f*ck, son-of-a-bitch right now.”

    Good advice for Rudd.

  34. I just saw a smug bloke that used to frequent the races pinching the loose peanuts in handfuls at Coles then exiting with a smug mouth full of cashews. Vegetarian xenomorph?
    I have no doubt that he would have already pre-polled for Andrew Robb.

  35. Minchin also said he does not support Abbott’s PPL and it won’t pass the senate unless there are compromises.

    Doesn’t matter anyway, the scheme will never see the light of day, it’s all about persuading women to vote for Abbott because he ‘gets women’. Should he be elected the scheme will be tossed into the trash basket along with all his other phoney promises.

  36. Hudson ” I say we grease this rat-f*ck, son-of-a-bitch right now.”

    That expression could reflect back to the days of Roman Colloseum days where victims / criminals were smeared with animal fat and cloaked in animal skins so packs of wild dogs would tear them to pieces while the populace chewed on loaves of bread and cups of wine in the stalls!……and they called it entertainment!

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