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Paid parental leave cuts could pass: Hinch

AAP logoAAP 26/10/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

Cuts to prevent expectant mothers from "double-dipping" on paid parental leave could pass parliament, with key crossbench senators open to a compromise.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon is open to supporting the plan that aims to stop parents claiming both employer and government paid leave, provided the start date is delayed until October 2017.

"The January 1st start date has caused much angst and distress amongst expectant mums," Senator Xenophon told ABC radio on Thursday.

Fellow crossbencher Derryn Hinch, who also supports a delay to the start date, says he'll sit down with Senator Xenophon to negotiate.

The Justice Party senator wants the start date pushed back to July 2017, saying that would be a fair way to do it.

"I think I can get Xenophon to agree to that," he told AAP.

"If he does then we can probably get (the legislation) across the line."

Senator Hinch said he agrees with the wind-back of leave because it's beyond the 14 weeks recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull did not rule out the timing change.

"Every bill that we pass through the House we have to negotiate its passage through the Senate," Mr Turnbull told reporters in central Queensland on Thursday.

"(We) will continue to engage with the senators to secure the passage of our legislation."

Labor leader Bill Shorten said there were better ways for Mr Turnbull to make budget savings.

"We shouldn't ever see a set of circumstances where you have to make tough choices between having a family or earning a proper wage," he said.

"If he wants to save money to the budget, don't give a tax cut to multi-nationals, don't give a tax cut to millionaires."

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