A political war of words is brewing over the Budget changes to parental leave payments.

Federal Labor has accused the Abbott Government of name-calling Australian mothers.

Brittney Levinson reports.


Australian parents are up in arms about the changes to paid parental leave, but they’re not the only ones.

The opposition has hit out at the government after suggestions mothers were double-dipping.

Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “It is not the right of Scott Morrison or Joe Hockey or Tony Abbott to call them rorters.”

The changes mean mothers will no longer be able to claim full paid parental leave from both their employer and the government, but even a Liberal senator says his colleagues could show more compassion.

Arthur Sinodinos, Liberal Senator: “It’s not a good look to be having a go at the young mothers or new mothers of Australia.”

Nick Xenophon, Independent Senator: “The government has to step away from this talk of rorting and double-dipping and I think they need to listen to Arthur Sinodinos on this one.”

The social services minister is already stepping back from such language.

Scott Morrison, Social Services Minister: “People are operating, you know, legally within that system. They’re not seeking to defraud that system, they’re not seeking to rort that system.”

Tonight Opposition leader Bill Shorten will give his budget reply, but the Treasurer says he’s not holding his breath.

Joe Hockey, Treasurer: “He wants to have less debt but everything he’s doing is making the debt bigger, so frankly, there’s no magic pudding here.”

Brittney Levinson, QUT News.