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Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto

The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney.

“Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million a year is more than double the official costings. Either he has issued the veto on the basis of incorrect information or he is deliberately misleading New Zealanders about the costs.

“Official advice from MBIE to the Select Committee shows it would cost a maximum of $122 million per year at full implementation, with the more likely gross cost being $107 million. His insistence that it would cost $280 million every year brings the validity of his veto into question.

“He was caught out exaggerating the cost of extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks back in 2012 – now he is at it again. He has more than doubled the official costings of the full implementation which would not happen until 2018.

“New Zealanders expect to have a Finance Minister who uses correct financial information – not one who plays fast and loose with the figures to justify his extreme action against families.

“Sadly, his political game-playing is robbing babies and young families of a brighter future,” Sue Moroney says.