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John Passant

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February 2010



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Liberals outflank Labor on paid maternity leave

Bible bashing anti-abortionist and ‘mums at home’ supporter Tony Abbott has promised a six month paid parental leave scheme. 

The Opposition is working on details but it appears the scheme will be more generous than Labor’s 18 weeks on the minimum wage.  

This is because not only is it 8 weeks longer but, if Abbott follows the suggestions in his book Battlelines, it will be on full pay.

Abbott suggested in Battlelines that his plan could be funded through a 0.5 percent increase in payroll tax, but since becoming Opposition leader he has said that he doesn’t want to impose costs on small business in introducing such a scheme.

Abbott wants women to have babies and stay at home. Yet he recognises realities. 

46 percent of the working population is female. Without women in the workforce Australian capitalism would implode.

Abbott’s paid maternity leave scheme (that is what he will call it) accepts this reality and attempts to mesh it with Abbott’s reactionary ideas about women and his vision of their role in the home.  

The move has flummoxed Labor. The Liberals are outflanking them on a social issue and the scheme is a likely to appeal to lots of working class women.

Labor were too clever by half. They thought they could introduce a paid parental leave scheme on the cheap – a mere $260 million compared to billions for pink batts – and claim the political kudos for doing so.

With the more generous Liberal plan Labor now just look like a bunch of risk averse conservatives with little understanding of the lives of working women. Which is what they are, really.

Labor have squawked ‘Where’s the money coming from?’

Is that it, Labor? Is that all you’ve got?

You’re criticising the Liberals for spending more on working women than you do? Wow, that’s a really progressive stance!

Labor’s pathetic scheme makes the Liberals’ pathetic scheme look good.

At the moment Australia is one of two OECD countries without any form of state supported parental leave. When Labor’s scheme starts in 2011 Australia will then have one of the worst state supported paid maternity leave arrangements. One of the worst.

Even Abbott’s plans won’t improve the situation much.

Twelve months paid parental leave on the average wage would be a better start and bring us into the company of civilised countries.

How could we pay for this? By doing something Rudd and Abbott would never do – taxing the rich.



Comment from w ch
Time February 9, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Good article John. The Rudd Govt has been a huge disappointment.

Comment from John Humphreys
Time February 11, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Abstract question… if there were no rich people, who would you tax? And if it turns out that your spending plans rely on the continued existence of rich people to exploit, how would you try and guarantee the continued existence of rich people? Or is it your opinion that abolishing rich people would remove the need for government spending?

Trackback from uberVU – social comments
Time February 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Reddit by Passy: With the more generous Liberal paid parental leave plan Labor now just look like a bunch of risk averse conservatives with little understanding of the lives of working women. Which is what they are, really….

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