Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Prime Minister Tony Abbott AAP Image - Jeffrey Chan

Report: MPs want Paid Parental Leave put on hold

A TRIO of Coalition MPs want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to dump his government's $5.5 billion Paid Parental Leave Scheme as the cost of war and lower mineral prices take a toll on its coffers.

Dawson MP George Christensen, with Ian MacDonald and John Williams each urged the government to drop the scheme on Wednesday, to ease pressure on the Federal Budget.

Fairfax reports Mr Christensen describing the scheme as "just one of those things that is unaffordable".

"If this one was off the agenda completely I don't think it would do anyone any harm and it would certainly ensure the budget situation is improved in the long term."

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the government's failure to pass budget savings -- including the $2.2 billion fuel excise and $630 million counter-terrorism funds -- is amplified by a fall in resources revenue.

The international price of coal and iron ore remains historically low.

Mr Abbott has consistently said there was no change to the policy, which would give new mothers six months on full pay, capped at $50,000.

Even if the government did push ahead with introducing the scheme, Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has repeatedly said it would not pass through the Senate.

The scheme has been a thorn in the side of the government, with the Prime Minister regularly accused of making it too generous.

It was part of a major charm offensive during the 2013 election as the Liberal leader tried to win support from female voters who had been reluctant to back him against Julia Gillard.

Earlier this year, reports suggested the Abbott Government had shelved the program indefinitely.



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