Final push for paid parental leave

It’s time for National to start listening to the needs of children and their families during this afternoon’s debate on extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks says the Bill’s promoter, Labour MP Sue Moroney.

“National and its threat of a veto stand in the way of this important support for those precious early months of a child’s life.

“All the research and evidence supports it, the majority of New Zealanders agree with it and after careful scrutiny of the financial impact, so do the majority of MPs.

“The Bill will be debated clause by clause in Parliament today and is expected to have the required votes to pass its final hurdle to make it law.

“National’s veto against the needs of children is further evidence of a Government that’s out of touch with the demands and pressures facing middle New Zealand families.

“A financial veto hasn’t been used on an entire bill since the measure was introduced under MMP.

“Official advice on the cost of Labour’s Bill shows it would be just 0.7 per cent of the additional spending budgeted for 2016/17 and 3.6 per cent of the extra spending set aside for 2017/18.

“The Bill proposes 22 weeks paid parental leave from April 1, 2017 increasing to 26 weeks on April 1 2018. At full implementation it will cost $107 million per annum, with estimated immediate savings of $28 million per year.

“Expert advice says the largest cost savings will be the long term ones, which have yet to be quantified.

“It all adds up to a positive investment in the future of New Zealand,” says Sue Moroney.