Oz 0ppn leader says sorry to PM over family policy remark
Australia opposition leader apologised to Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday for suggesting that her government is inexperienced in family policy. Some saw the comment as a cheap shot at the prime minister, who has no children.
Tony Abbott's apology came two weeks after Gillard, branded him a misogynist in an extraordinary attack in a speech to Parliament. Gillard took offense on Tuesday when Abbott attacked the government's announcement on reducing the amount of public money parents receive for every newborn.
From mid-2013, each second and subsequent baby will earn parents only — Aus $3,000, as against the current Aus $5,000 — with government officials explaining that such families could reuse items such as cribs and strollers.
Abbott argued that parents sometimes needed to buy a second crib or a larger stroller that could carry two children. "I think if the government was a bit more experienced in this area, they wouldn't come out with glib lines like that," Abbott told Seven Network television.
Trade Minister Craig Emerson accused Abbott of "making inferences" against Gillard. Defense Minister Stephen Smith said, "Blind Freddy could have told you the way in which that comment would have been interpreted," adding that Abbott's judgment was under a cloud.
Abbott denied his remark was aimed at Gillard, but offered an apology.
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