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David Cunliffe Defends New 'Best Start' Policy

David Cunliffe Defends New 'Best Start' Policy

David Cunliffe's weekly pre-caucus press conference – 28 January 2014

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell


Click for big version.

At his regular press standup before Parliament sits this afternoon for the first time in 2014 Labour leader David Cunliffe defended Labour's new Best Start policy.

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The new policy, which he unveiled during his State of the Nation speech yesterday, detailed plans for a $60-a-week payment to families with newborn babies through to the child's first birthday. He also announced Labour's commitment to free antenatal classes for all first time mothers, early childhood education to be expanded from 20 to 25 hours a week, and paid parental leave to be extended from 14 to 26 weeks.

Labour's new policies were fiscally accounted for, prudent, and the right thing to do, he said.

Information outlining the details of how the package was costed would be releases at a later date.

He was quizzed on details as to when parents would eligible for $60 and how to avoid parents with high incomes from unfairly claiming the money. Mr Cunliffe said many of the details of the plan would be released at a later date but that there would be measures put in place to stop people rorting the system.

He said it was a shame that National had signaled it would putting forward its own bill to extend paid parental leave rather than support a Labour private members bill which would push leave out to 26 weeks. It showed that politics had come ahead of good policy, he said.

See full video of the press conference above and audio below.

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Click a link to play audio (or right-click to download) in either
MP3 format or in OGG format.

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Click for big version.

ENDS

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