House debates

Monday, 18 March 2024

Questions without Notice

Paid Parental Leave

4:16 pm

Photo of Mary DoyleMary Doyle (Aston, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Social Services. How will Labor's tax cuts work alongside other measures in the social services portfolio to support working families and strengthen their economic security, and what has been the response to these measures?

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I'd like to thank the member for Aston for her question. The member for Aston, alongside every member of the Albanese Labor government wants people to earn more and keep more of what they earn. This is evident with our tax plan under which, from 1 July, every single taxpayer will be getting a tax cut, with 11.5 million Australians getting a bigger tax cut under Labor. But it's also evident in our historic paid parental leave legislation that has passed the parliament today.

As a result of our bill that has passed the Senate, from 1 July working families will have access to more paid parental leave, with the scheme expanding by two weeks each year until we reach 26 weeks—a full six months—in July 2026. When fully rolled out, that's over $5,000 more in the family budget for 180,000 families each year. This builds on important changes that we put in place from July 2023, including changes to give more families access to the payment and to make it easier for more parents to share care.

I'm very pleased to see the strong support for Labor's historic reform from a diverse range of family, employer and community groups, unions, gender experts and economists. The ACTU has said the increase to 26 weeks was a great step forward for Australian parents, particularly working women, and a stark contrast to the policies and attitudes to women that we saw under the previous government. The Business Council of Australia said the expansion doesn't just help make a fairer society but is also a major economic reform which will help raise workforce participation and boost productivity. The Parenthood said that this is a significant improvement after no meaningful change to policy over the last decade. Equality Rights Alliance called these changes 'equality enabling' and a significant advance in the promotion of Australian women's economic security.

While, importantly, the government is supporting parents to take time off after the birth or adoption of their child, we're also taking action to minimise the impact on their retirement income by recently announcing that we will pay superannuation on government paid parental leave from July 2025. Not only is our government ensuring that women earn more and keep more of what they earn, but, by paying super on paid parental leave, we are ensuring that women will retire with more as well.

I hope that those opposite will join us to help us secure a better retirement as well as supporting women to earn more and keep more of what they earn— (Time expired)