Tag Archives: liberals

Labour’s Australian sister party makes significant gains against Conservative Coalition

29 Mar

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Australian Labor Party has made significant gains against Tony Abbott’s Coalition in a recent poll.

Despite Abbott’s strong showing in an Australian Iron Man competition on the weekend (and you thought Boris Johnson looked silly on a bike), he hasn’t been able to keep up his momentum in political circles that at one stage saw Rudd’s lead down to only 4 points. In the Australian newspaper, according to the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian last weekend, Labor’s primary vote jumped four percentage points to 43 per cent and the Coalition’s primary support fell three points to 38 per cent, a clear election-winning lead on a two-party-preferred basis of 56 per cent for the Rudd government and 44 per cent for the Coalition.

This is a significant lead and is a clear indication that Abbott’s honeymoon may well be over.

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Is the mad monk losing his early advantage?

10 Mar

I’m torn about the Australian Opposition Leader’s new policy on maternity care. Tony Abbott has announced that under a Liberal-National Coalition Government, Australian women should have 6 months full paid maternity leave, capped at $150,000. This is a fairly big move considering while he was in Government pre-2007, that the Coalition would have a compulsory maternity cover scheme “over the Government’s dead body

The Rudd Government currently has an 18 week maternity leave policy that offers at least minimum wage, which is better than many countries. Clearly though, many companies offer its female employees other options, but Rudd’s programme is guaranteed. But that clearly doesn’t compare to Abbott’s amazing policy. So whats the catch?

Well, he has said it would be funded by a 1.7% tax on companies with profits above $5 million. Current systems rely on tax funding costing only $260 million. It is all pretty rich for a guy who has been pummeling the Government’s ETS policy as a Great Big New Tax. Naturally, the Government has been pummeling right back on this issue. Business Groups are also obviously a tad peeved saying it will lower growth and hamstring business and industry.

One has to question the thinking behind the policy. There will definitely be more complaints and moans to come. For instance, if one business doesn’t have any, or at least a low percentage, of women seeking maternity cover, there will be  complaints as to why they should have to pay the tax. I don’t think it will lead to less women being employed, because companies will realise they have already forked out the cash through the tax, so they won’t get hit twice by employing female staff.

But it will surely lead to a tightening of belts, leading to less overall jobs, for men and women, in the first place. As I said 1.7% is a big financial hit and that will have effects on the work-force. According to Abbott’s maths, this would take $2.7 billion out of business’ and industry’s pockets

It also turns out, Abbott didn’t sound out his MPs about the issue, another thing Rudd and team has been hitting him on and has declared it Policy on the Run.

It is  a questionable policy announcement considering in December Abbott and his team were promising No New Taxes in December – it looks like Abbot has  broken a promise even before they have faced an election.

Maybe this is  confirmation Abbott just wants Australian women at home, doing the ironing. We’ll see how this plays out.