The federal government now concedes that parents who access both their employer’s and government’s paid parental leave schemes are not the problem. It’s all about the rules.
“The system itself is the problem, not the individuals,” the social services minister, Scott Morrison, told 3AW radio. Also, Treasurer Joe Hockey has retreated from his earlier claim that it amounted to fraud, telling the Nine Network: “If you comply with the law, it is not fraud.”
Most new parents using the government scheme, which pays 18 weeks at the minimum wage for a total of about $11,500, received payments immediately after their child’s birth.
“It’s not being added on to the end of when you’ve received your employer-funded scheme, it’s being taken as a bonus payment along the way,” Morrison said. That means there has been little change in the number of parents staying at home with kids for longer than 18 weeks.
“It’s a bit like a baby bonus for those who have employer-sponsored paid parental leave,” he said. “That’s why we need to change the scheme.”Do you have an idea for a story?
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