Senator Christine Milne (pictured), along with Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, announced the policy on Tuesday in Canberra.
Senator Christine Milne (pictured), along with Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, announced the policy on Tuesday in Canberra. Contributed

Greens' paid parental leave scheme a 'workplace right'

THE Greens have taken a page out of the Coalition's election policy playbook, announcing a $5 billion paid parental leave scheme markedly similar to the one Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has proposed.

Senators Christine Milne and Sarah Hanson-Young announced the policy on Tuesday in Canberra, touting it as less harsh than Labor's but more caring than the Coalition's.

Under the Greens' proposal, $5 billion from a 1.5% levy on big business and government consolidated revenue would fund paid parental leave at full pay rates for six months for mothers who have a child.

While the policy uses the same Coalition tax on business to fund it, it would limit leave to those earning $100,000 or less, while the Opposition wants to fund leave for mothers earning up to $150,000.

Sen Milne said the Greens policy would be more caring for all parents than Labor's, which currently will only give new parents the minimum wage during their leave.

Despite the similarities between the Greens and Opposition's policy, Senator Milne said the Coalition's proposal was inequitable, giving too much money to those who were already financially secure.

She said the Greens policy would also enshrine paid parental leave as a "workplace right", rather than an added benefit, as it currently stands.

It would also include ensuring superannuation contributions continue to be paid to mothers on parental leave, to make sure they were not disadvantaged later in life for choosing to have a child.


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