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Nats out of touch with low income families

National out of touch with low income families on 4 weeks

If Dr Brash is seriously concerned about low paid workers he would be supporting four weeks leave. He is sending working families the completely wrong message about the value of their contribution to the productive economy, Progressive MP Matt Robson says.

"Dr Brash says he is keen to get people off welfare and into paid employment and is threatening to repeal the progressive four weeks leave legislation if National make it into government.

"Yet four weeks leave is an absolutely critical progressive policy initiative by this coalition government to encourage low income working families to stay in the productive workforce and out of the welfare system.

"Four weeks leave also helps people get back into the workforce. One of the biggest barriers facing parents trying to return to the workforce is the cost of, and access to, child care.

"An extra weeks leave is a big boost to working families. It provides an extra week (or two if both parents work), to care for children without paying extra child care. It also helps strengthen families stressed by financial difficulties by giving them the time needed to recuperate and care for children.

"Mr Brash is out of touch with low income families if he thinks they do not want four weeks leave. Time spent with your family is worth its weight in gold. Progressives will continue to advocate for low income families by protecting four weeks leave and supporting regular increases in increase to the minimum wage, something Dr Brash would prefer to eliminate completely.

"Mr Brash's comments on the costs of four weeks leave are misleading and out of date. The costs for the extra weeks leave have been estimated by the Department of Labour, Treasury and independent economist Brian Easton at $350 million, less than 1 per cent of the wage bill.

"If National think New Zealand should compete with the rest of the world on low wages and no minimum working conditions they should front up now and make that clear before the next election," Matt Robson said.

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