Paid parental leave scrapped: new scheme may fill void
WITH Tony Abbott's Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme a thing of the past, Clarence Valley women are hoping the government's new Families Package will help them achieve a work-mum balance.
Pillar Valley mother Bella Trevillian would not have benefited from the scheme, but said although she thought the original PPL was unfair, it was important to have a scheme assisting mothers.
"In think it is important we do have a paid parental leave scheme, but it should be fair for all women who are expecting a child," Mrs Trevillian said. "I don't believe a woman who is on a higher wage should be more entitled to someone who is working class."
Mrs Trevillian said while daycare was very expensive in cities, she said country women were not as reliant on daycare as in the city.
"I don't know how the Families Package will help us in the country. In my community I don't know many double-income families," she said.
Member for Page Kevin Hogan said he was pleased the PPL Scheme was not going ahead in its original form because it disadvantaged country women.
"I have publicly stated before I thought (the PPL) was too generous at the upper end," Mr Hogan said.
"The scheme in its original form meant that city women on high incomes received much more on average than country women."
The original PPL paid out a woman's salary over 20 weeks, meaning higher-income women would get more. Mr Hogan said the new Families Package would target childcare assistance.
"Childcare costs are a large part of some families' budgets and we need to help local families with this," he said. "We want childcare to be more affordable for families who may be struggling to pay expensive childcare fees. That will be our aim in this new package."
In a speech at Little Pines Childcare Centre in Sydney, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the new policy would ease the pressure families were under and create jobs.