Political Deal Over Parental Leave Scheme?
3 November 2001
"What has made the Prime Minister shift her stance on a paid parental leave deal expected to be announced next week?" National's Women's Affairs spokesperson Anne Tolley asked today.
"The expected deal talks about 12 weeks' paid leave, which is what the Alliance is after, yet Helen Clark has said New Zealand could not afford to go to 12 weeks all at once. So what has changed, what deal has gone on between two parties which have been at such odds over this?
"And there are plenty of other questions still to be asked over proposed changes to parental support legislation.
"Previous hints about the Government's Paid Parental Leave policy suggested that it would include scrapping the Parental Tax Credit. If this is the case, the new policy will be unfair and selective by assisting only a 'certain type' of new mother.
"If the Parental Tax Credit is removed to help fund parental leave just for women in the workforce, this will mean a cut in the family budget for some low income families with a mother at home looking after the family.
"A plan to support one group of women having a baby, by cutting funding to a different group of new mothers just wouldn't make sense," Anne Tolley said.