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Rushed Parental Leave Scheme

Rushed Parental Leave Scheme Will Mean Botched Scheme

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is warning the Government against rushing its proposed parental leave scheme, saying a rushed scheme will inevitably be a botched scheme.

"Paid parental leave has the potential to be a major social reform, on the scale of the introduction of no-fault accident compensation in the 1970s, or even social security in the 1930s."

"The Government must therefore get it right, even it means foregoing apparent political gain by delaying the introduction until after the next election."

"A fair, workable scheme overrides accruing political advantage to the Labour/Alliance Government, which seems to be the primary driver at the moment," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says that he is very concerned that the Government is talking of introducing legislation in the next couple of months, but still has so many policy details to finalise.

"The uncertainty over the future of the family tax credit scheme is but one example of where paid parental leave could have an adverse impact on another aspect of family support policies."

"A related question is what support will be available on an ongoing basis to families in the wake of the introduction of paid parental leave."

"Does it, for example, effectively rule out any possible further extension of child care subsidies, including tax relief for child care for working families?"

"Also, will the Government take the opportunity to introduce comprehensive parenting skills programmes for new parents alongside the introduction of paid parental leave, or is paid parental leave just an end in itself?" he asks.

Mr Dunne says that to be socially viable paid parental leave must become a foundation stone for good family life, not just a policy to be ticked off on a credit card, which disadvantages established families as the price for supporting new families.

Ends


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