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House Rises Debating Paid Parental Leave

The House rose just before 10pm interrupting debate on the paid parental leave bill with it set to face defeat.

After the dinner break MPs returned to the committee stage of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill considering clause four of the bill in the name of Sue Moroney.

The bill does not have the support of National and ACT. This means unlike in the previous Parliament it no longer has the numbers to make progress.

The led to a change in behaviour in the House from last Parliament with opposition MPs seeking calls and Government MPs taking a less active role. After the last Budget the Government introduced its own less generous changes to the paid parental leave system

There was some confusion in the debate when National whips cast their vote against their own closure motion, eventually though matters were put to a vote.

The Bill’s promoter Sue Moroney proposed amendments with a more narrow focus in an attempt to win support but this was voted down by 61to 60 with National and ACT opposed.

Clauses four and five were both voted down by the same margin. Debate was interrupted on clause six of the bill.

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