Blog«The federal government is trying to make changes that will hurt the battlers and benefit the Rich!
The federal government is trying to make changes that will hurt the battlers and benefit the Rich!
5 March 2017
7 June 2023
4.89 minutes

The Health Workers Union recently made a Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry into the Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill 2016.

We recommended the following:

  •  We urge the senate to reject the Bill in its current form!
  • The Bill should be amended so that it increases the proposed Paid Parental Leave Entitlements limit from 18 weeks to 26 weeks, resulting in an increase of $5,382 for the average mother.
  • Australian Paid Parental Leave Entitlements should be means tested. 
  • The federal government must introduce Bills and other regulations that aim to stop loopholes used by large multinational corporations, the banks and mining companies to avoid paying their fair share of taxes!

The committee tabled its report of the inquiry in the Senate on 15 February 2017.

 A copy of the committee's report can be accessed on the committee’s website here.

The committee's report noted that Schedules 17 and 18 of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017 (Omnibus Bill), introduced into the House of Representatives on 8 February 2017, contained similar provisions to those in the Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill 2016.

The committee is now conducting an inquiry into the Omnibus Bill for report by 20 March 2017. The Omnibus savings and Child Care Reform Bill and accompanying documents can be accessed on the Parliament of Australia website.

The committee intends to consider the concerns raised and the evidence received in the committee’s inquiry into the Fairer Paid Parental Leave Bill 2016 in conjunction with its consideration of the provisions of the Omnibus Bill.

We have been invited to make another submission for the committee's inquiry into the Omnibus Bill. 

The closing date for submissions is 3 March 2017.

What is the Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform Bill 2017?

Last week the Coalition introduced a Bill that they called the Omnibus Bill 2017 to try to make nearly $4 billion in savings through the Parliament.

The bill included increases to childcare subsidies, and cuts to family tax benefits and paid parental leave.

Most recently, the Treasurer Scott Morrison tried to blackmail the crossbench (made up of independents, the Greens, One Nation, Nick Xenophon and others) to support the bill, stating that the Government would redirect $3 billion to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) if the legislation passed.

Millions of Australian’s, mainly those that can least afford it will be harmed. They include: Pensioners, New parents and Families with Children, and Students and Young people will lose almost $100 a fortnight after the Liberals kick them off their Newstart Allowance and move them to the inappropriate Youth Allowance (they want to make 22 as the qualifying age for Newstart Allowance).

Turnbull and Scott Morrison have been saying that these cuts are needed – but the reality is that the Government will use the so called savings to fund enormous tax cuts for well-to-do corporations, many of whom don’t pay their fair share of tax anyway (their accountants find loop-holes and other means to avoid paying tax). If these companies did pay their fair share of tax, then the government would have the money to fund our community services properly.

The most recent news is as follows:

Nick Xenophon stated that he was against the governments devastating cuts – well, some of them. 

But the other crossbenchers are still uncommitted. They might yet give the go ahead for the government’s plans.

Kamal Bekhazi

Research & Projects Officer

Health Workers Union

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