The big push for $10,000 baby bonus by Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce
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Senator Barnaby Joyce is pushing Tony Abbott to double the baby bonus.
NATIONALS Senator Barnaby Joyce is pushing Tony Abbott to double the baby bonus for stay-at-home mums to $10,000 if he wins power at the next election.
Fearing a backlash over the generosity of the Coalition's proposed paid-parental-leave scheme, which would offer wealthy working women up to $75,000, the Nationals have proposed a better deal for stay-at-home mums.
"It's an incredible sacrifice for women to stay at home. You can see it in their superannuation and everything else," Senator Joyce said.
"We want to make sure people don't lose their house. Because everything is based on two incomes these days. All policies have a cost. But it's a substantial sacrifice for people not to go to work."
The Nationals first flagged the policy at the 2010 election.
But Finance Minister Penny Wong said Treasury costings revealed the Budget impact of the Nationals plan to boost the baby bonus would be as much as $3 billion over three years.
It would cost the Budget $890 million in 2013-14, $990 million the next financial year, and $1.1 billion the following year.
"This is yet another policy proposal the Coalition can't afford," Ms Wong told The Sunday Telegraph.
"They already have $70 billion in cuts to services they're keeping secret and now they need to find billions extra to fund their new promises."
Nationals leader Warren Truss stressed the plan to double the baby bonus was a policy of the Nationals rather than the Coalition and had not been endorsed by Mr Abbott.
"There were certain concerns that the proposal did provide very substantial assistance to some and not to others," he said.
"That issue was raised by some. But it is a workplace issue not a welfare payment. That's the thinking to encourage married women to stay in the workforce."
Nationals MP Mark Coulton conceded there had been some issues in regional communities about the impact of lump sum baby bonus payments in the past but it was now paid fortnightly.
"I think there were problems with the lump sums but that's been addressed," he said.