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Lib MPs urge Tony Abbott to drop extravagant parental leave tax & spend plan #auspol

The next big battle in Australian politics isn’t so much between the Labor government and the conservative opposition, it’s among the conservatives about what sort of government they are going to be.

NSW federal MP Alex Hawke is breaking cover already, publicly making the case that his Leader’s 1.5% tax on corporates to fund paid parental leave ought be dropped.

An article he’s written for the IPA Review will not only ignite a debate about the appropriateness of the measure but also a big discussion about what kind of government Abbott’s will be. There’s never a dull moment.

In one of several interviews on the subject today, Hawke (elected in 2007) suggests the big-spending policy was never taken to the party room:’

Mr Hawke added that he had never supported the policy.
”Going into the last election I felt that it was better to fit in with the team discipline but no one’s ever asked my opinion in relation to this,” he said.

The Australian’s front-page report confirms the same:

Liberal and Nationals MPs have privately told The Australian they also have concerns about the plan. Some conceded the Coalition policy was not fully considered when it was released, given that Mr Abbott did not seek approval from the Coalition partyroom as required before he released his plan.

Mr Abbott acknowledged that problem in March 2010, but said he had made a “leader’s call” and believed it was sometimes better to ask for forgiveness than for permission. He insisted last month that it was a “signature policy” that would be delivered in the first term of government if he won the federal election.

And while most Liberal MPs are keeping quiet about their dissent, Hawke is clearly not alone. While there’s probably majority support in the party room for whatever the Leader wants, there is certainly lots of support to have the policy actually debated.


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  1. What does Alex Hawke have against little kids?

    Posted by Pru for Premier | May 7, 2013, 3:15