Paid Parental Leave Bill -successive governments undervalue mothers

Family First  says the Government is undervaluing mothers by not allowing a bill, proposing to extend paid parental leave, to proceed to a first reading.

In the week before Easter a member’s bill which aims to extend paid parental leave in New Zealand from 14 to 26 weeks came up in the ballot.

It is being proposed by Labour’s Sue Moroney, and with Peter Dunne’s vote there would be enough support in Parliament for it to to be given a first reading.

However Bill English has announced that the Government will make rare use of its power of veto to stop the passing of any legislation that extends the period of paid parental leave.  The Prime Minister, John Key, who is in Indonesia, subsequently said the National Party may consider extending paid parental leave at some time in the future.

National director of Family First Bob McCoskrie said the bill should at least be given the respect of debate, and that families are being penalised for having children.

“Successive Governments have undervalued mothers – and it continues with this decision.

“In reality, this policy would represent about 0.2% of the total Government spending, yet research shows that the role of mothers and the early bonding between mums and babies is vital for healthy child development.”

The Families Commission has reversed its earlier support for a full year of paid parental leave, saying the country can probably no longer afford it.

Most bills  are government bills. However, members who are not Ministers can introduce their own bills, which are called members’ bills.

The House has limited the number of members’ bills that can be introduced. Bills are selected by ballot.

When a ballot is to take place, members are notified of the number of new members’ bills that can be introduced and are invited to enter bills in the ballot. They have until 10.00 am on the day of the ballot to notify the Clerk of their intention to enter.

Under Parliament’s rules, the Government can veto a bill if it is deemed to have more than a minor impact on government finances.


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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