Abbott's own party calls for end to paid parental leave plan

A GROWING number of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's own party room has voiced opposition to his signature $5.5 billion paid parental leave scheme.

Opposition to the policy has been growing since some Nationals Senators voiced their concerns internally in recent months.

Those concerns have been compounded by the fact Mr Abbott did not consult the Coalition's joint party room about the policy before proposing it, and senior Liberals have now joined the push.

The scheme aims to give wealthier women, earning more then $150,000, $75,000 to stop work for six months to raise their newborn baby.

One such backbencher, Queensland Liberal Ian Macdonald, on Tuesday told ABC he was keen to see north Australia developed, but it may not if limited resources were spent on an "over-the-top scheme".

Other senior Liberal figures have spoken out privately in recent weeks on the issue, while several Nationals backbenchers have remained opposed on the grounds it would disproportionately affect regional women.

While The Greens have supported the policy in principle, concerns are understood to be growing in the minor party; due to reports that welfare may be cut to bolster the budget, despite the high cost of the PPL policy.

Labor has also remained opposed, as has Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer, due to their concerns Mr Abbott's proposal would only help those already earning enough to take parental leave.


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