Expectant Warwick parents Karli Wells and Matt Peck have welcomed Tony Abbott's proposed leave changes.
Expectant Warwick parents Karli Wells and Matt Peck have welcomed Tony Abbott's proposed leave changes. Kerri Burns-Taylor

Warwick mothers embrace Abbott's maternity leave plan

THE financial burden of parental leave could be eased significantly for Rose City mums and dads if Tony Abbott is elected Prime Minister this year.

Mr Abbott has announced plans to pay working women their full wage for 26 weeks following the birth of a child, if the Coalition comes to power.

The proposed scheme would be funded by the country's biggest companies, with a levy to be placed on those who earn over $5 million a year.

Expectant mum Karli Wells has just five more sleeps until her baby is due to enter the world and will not be eligible for the scheme if it comes into effect later this year.

Despite this, Ms Wells said she supported Mr Abbott's scheme and believed it would allow mothers to enjoy maternity leave a little more.

Ms Wells has taken 12 months maternity leave from her cashier job but said she and fiancé Matt Peck would assess the situation after the baby was born.

She would return to work earlier if she had to.

"It is a stressful time because you want to be able to spend time with your child and just be a mum but you're always thinking 'will I be able to financially'," she said.

"Having a child is expensive and then you have to think about the mortgage, groceries and all of the other everyday bills you have.

"I think the new scheme would be much better for working mums and would let them spend a bit more time with their babies without worrying about money too much."

Ms Wells said she thought a levy on the big earners was a fair way to fund the scheme, as it wouldn't be a burden on the average taxpayer.

Mum-of-one Renee Aspery agreed the scheme was a winner and said it would have made a world of difference to her own maternity leave with son Harley, now three.

Ms Aspery, who works two days a week and studies full-time, has never had the option of paid parental leave but supports Mr Abbott's plan.

"When you are a working mum, the decision to have a baby is a really big one because you're losing a whole wage for a long time," she said.

"I know people who want kids but aren't able to because they need two incomes to get the bills paid."



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