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Nats delay tactics on PPL keep families waiting

Sue Moroney

Social Development Spokesperson

28 February  2014                     MEDIA STATEMENT

Nats delay tactics on PPL keep families waiting

The National Party is playing politics with Labour's Bill to extend paid parental leave by using delaying tactics to keep families waiting, says the Bill's author, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney.

The Government Administration Select Committee today reported back on the Bill, which extends paid parental leave to six months, after National asked for an extension to reconsider their position.

“I agreed to that extension in good faith, but National members introduced no amendments and then voted down the work the select committee had done,” says Sue Moroney.

“That’s deeply cynical. It’s all just a big game to National but Kiwi families are bearing the brunt of it.

“My Bill has the numbers to pass in Parliament by May. It's only National's threatened financial veto that stands in the way of this vital support for babies and their families - they need to move aside and let us get on with it.

“The report shows there were 3809 submissions received on extending PPL to 26 weeks and 99.6% were in favour. National is out of touch with the public.

“Labour’s policy has overwhelming public support and majority support in Parliament. National is the only fly in the ointment.

“The report also shows Bill English's assertion that the Bill would cost $500m in three years was over-egged with official advice to the committee costing the net amount at $220m over the next three years.

"That's less than half the inflated figure used by Mr English to justify his financial veto. Officials identified $28.4m of immediate savings on reaching 26 weeks paid leave.

“This is a conservative figure and the committee didn’t attempt to identify the long-term savings, which is where the most significant gains are according to submitters. Once savings are taken into account, the cost in the forthcoming financial year would be $36m.

“National knows it has lost the argument on paid parental leave so all it has left in its bag of dirty tricks is to delay, delay, delay. Kiwi families deserve better,” says Sue Moroney.

ENDS

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