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PPL Veto looks increasingly heavy-handed

Sue
MORONEY
Early Childhood Education Spokesperson

10 April 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
PPL Veto looks increasingly heavy-handed

The Government's threat to veto the Paid Parental Leave Bill has back-fired, making New Zealanders even more determined to progress the issue, says Labour MP Sue Moroney.

The Government Administration Select Committee travelled to Auckland today to hear submissions on the bill, which would extend PPL to six months.

“All 12 submissions supported the bill and some urged the Select Committee to go further to support families in those early months.

"Family First requested four weeks exclusive leave for fathers on top of the further 12 weeks proposed in the current bill for either parent to use.

“Another submitter, Laila Harre advised the committee to consider funding extended PPL through an employer levy, if the Government is hell-bent on using a financial veto.

"My Bill does not impose any costs on employers, but the Government's stubborn refusal to lift its threat has prompted supporters to suggest alternate funding sources.

The Government’s costings for extending PPL have been grossly overstated. The actual cost is expected to be well below the figures bandied about by Finance Minister Bill English as justification for the veto.

“The Equal Justice Project pointed out that the use of a financial veto to stop the bill is an undemocratic abuse of power and is being used to by-pass MMP.

“Several submitters have also asked the committee to extend the eligibility of PPL to casual and seasonal working parents.

"Pressure is mounting on the Government to drop its heavy-handed threat of financial veto, so that babies and families can be supported in those precious early months,” Sue Moroney said.

ENDS

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