Parental Leave Crackdown Hurts Mums


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Labor said it will never vote for the government’s planned crackdown on parental leave payments because it punishes 80,000 new mothers.

Laws to tighten access to the paid leave scheme, set up by the previous Labor government, are before parliament and could start as soon as January 2017, meaning women who are pregnant now could miss out on benefits. “Labor will never vote to punish ordinary people,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told reporters in Burnie on Sunday.

“Why should nurses, or shop assistants or other people who have foregone pay rises in lieu of getting a paid parental benefit now be slugged because they’ve negotiated these conditions and not get the minimum paid parental leave?”

Changing track and Shorten also described it as one of the most remarkable weeks in federal politics where the prime minister and his predecessor openly attacked each other on the floor of parliament.

Mr Turnbull and Tony Abbott also fought at the NSW Liberal conference on Saturday which resulted in reform measures which act as a bandaid over the the bitterness and division which racks the Liberal Party.

“If the Liberal party can’t govern itself, how on earth can they govern the country,” he told reporters in Burnie, Tasmania.

Senior Turnbull government minister Mitch Fifield refused to be drawn on the conflict when speaking on Sky News, saying things had gone “incredibly smoothly” since Mr Turnbull took over the leadership.

He said former prime ministers should be shown respect but in turn should also show their support for the party.

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