Abbott's Plan worth talking about

A LOCAL business has spoken out in support of opposition leader Tony Abbott’s new parental leave plan, announced as part of Monday’s International Women’s Day celebrations.

The scheme would include six months’ full-pay parental leave to a maximum of $150,000 for every working Australian woman.

To achieve this, Mr Abbott has proposed a levy of 1.7 per cent on the taxable income of companies which profit more than $5 million per year.

Westlawn Finance director Mark Dougherty said the plan had merit – particularly given that rural and regional businesses would be unlikely to bear the brunt of the levy.

“The number of businesses affected in the North Coast area would be reasonably limited,” Mr Dougherty said.

“The majority of that would come out of city areas, which isn’t a bad thing.”

Mr Dougherty said looking after the workforce ‘made sense’.

“In the bigger picture, it’s a bit of an investment in the working population of Australia,” he said. “Overall, he (Abbott) has got some merit.

“It’s certainly an option worth putting on the table and talking about.”

Mr Dougherty said from his observations local families could benefit from the plan.

“Looking at families in the area, surviving on one income is pretty tough,” he said. “When you’ve got a family, you’d prefer to be home with them.

“If this allows parents to be at home and spend more time with their children, then it has probably got some merit.”

Libs’ Parental Leave Plan

Twenty-six weeks’ full-pay parental leave for Australian mums – six more than the government’s 18 weeks at minimum wage.

Costs $2.7 billion per year.

Funded via a 1.7 per cent levy on the taxable income of businesses profiting more than $5 million a year.

Paid parental leave at an annual income up to $150,000 for every woman who is in the workforce prior to having a baby

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