Erin Windon and Jamie Wimbus, of Woodburn, with their son Jyah (seven months), say Abbott’s scheme is a good idea, but are not convinced it would sway their vote.
Erin Windon and Jamie Wimbus, of Woodburn, with their son Jyah (seven months), say Abbott’s scheme is a good idea, but are not convinced it would sway their vote. Jacklyn Wagner

Abbott's parental leave plan

LOCAL dads would be eligible for six months’ paid parental leave, if the Opposition is elected to power, but it would still be more than likely that it would be mums who would take time off work.

That is the view of young couple, and first-time parents, Erin Windon and Jamie Wimbus, of Woodburn.

Ms Windon, a child-care worker who is on 12 months unpaid maternity leave, said even Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s proposed scheme would not allow her to swap roles with her partner.

“It’s simply that he earns more than me,” Ms Windon, mother of seven-month-old, Jyah, said.

Mr Wimbus said he was not opposed to men taking time off to be with their children, but said most couples would opt to maximise their income.

That usually meant the mother stays at home

Australian women working full-time earn on average only 90 per cent of men, according to a 2006 Department of Families report.

“I do think Mr Abbott’s proposal is a great idea though,” Mr Wimbus said.

Mr Abbott announced on Monday he would pay new parents the equivalent of their salaries, up to $150,000, for six months.

The Coalition scheme is more generous than the Government’s 18-week paid parental leave scheme, which will come into effect in January next year.

But Ms Windon and Mr Wimbus said Mr Abbott’s proposed parental leave scheme was not enough to decide their vote in this year’s Federal election.

“I will vote for a party which has lots of policies. They have to all line up,” Mr Wimbus said.

The couple received baby bonus payments for six months following Jyah’s birth, but the payments ended last month.

“They really helped and we miss them,” Ms Windon said.

The Coalition intends to charge a 1.7pc levy on business earnings over $5 million a year, which would raise $2.7 billion annually.

Labor’s program is costed at $260 million a year, and is paid for without a levy on business.



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