New Zealand Labour Party

National further dashes hopes of new parents

The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.

 “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL by restricting the extension to parents of twins or triplets, premature babies or those born with a disability.

“How ironic that National took this mean-spirited action during Multiple Birth Awareness Week. It displays a complete lack of understanding of the pressures facing families in this situation.

“Social Development Minister Anne Tolley told Parliament that families with multiple births already get plenty of help from the Government. However the home help she described only applies if they have another child under 5 and doesn’t remove the financial pressure of having to return to work – particularly given that it stops before paid parental leave payments cease.

“For around 25 per cent of the cost of John Key’s flag referendums, National could have supported what is a wholly practical initiative.

“I even offered to suspend last night’s debate on the Bill so they Government could take more time to consider their response, but they had already made their mind up.”

 While debate on the paid parental leave Bill will continue next year, the most critical clauses were defeated last night by 61-60.

“Families have effectively been shut out by National’s dodgy deal with Act in Epsom, giving them the one vote necessary to dash the hopes of working parents and their children,” Sue Moroney says.