There is a growing divide among Coalition members of Parliament regarding Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s parental leave proposal.
Liberal MP Alex Hawke told ABC Radio this morning he is against the policy due to its expensive nature, and is supported by other MPs.
“The feedback from business groups, from women in the community and from colleagues is that now would be a very good time to revisit this policy with a view to scrapping it before the next election so we can go to the election without this albatross around the neck of the party,” he told ABC Radio.
The policy would tax the country’s largest 3200 companies an extra 1.5%, which has raised some protest from business representatives.
The scheme would fund new mothers their regular wage for six months to a maximum of $75,000.
Inflation gauge rises during April
Consumer prices rose only slightly in April, according to the latest figures from the TD Securities Melbourne Institute Monthly Inflation Gauge.
The gauge rose 2.1% in the 12 months to April, and by 0.3% in the month after a 0.2% increase in March.
“The first taste of the June quarter inflation continues this benign theme, with both headline and underlying measures at or below the bottom of the RBA’s (Reserve Bank of Australia’s) 2-3% target band,” said TD Securities head of Asia-Pacific Research Annette Beacher, in a statement.
Fruit and vegetable prices rose 6.4% in April, while there was also a 6.4% decrease in prices for petrol and footwear.
Shares open higher on solid offshore leads
The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning, following a solid lead from offshore markets and the release of subdued inflation data.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 64 points or 1.3% to 5,194.4 at 11.35 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% or 142 points or 14,974.0.