National’s parental leave policy is a last minute U-turn that still leaves tens of thousands of new parents and babies without support, the Green Party today.
Today Bill English announced the Government’s support for 22 weeks paid parental leave, after vetoing Labour MP Sue Moroney’s bill proposing 26 weeks leave last year.
“It’s high time that New Zealand families got better support to raise kids, but this new policy still leaves thousands of families without financial help when their children are born,” said Green Party Inequality spokesperson Marama Davison.
“If we want good outcomes for all babies born in New Zealand, we need to make sure all new parents – whether they’re in work or not - are given time and money to focus on caring for their babies.
“The parents of almost 20,000 babies born every year in New Zealand aren’t eligible for any financial support at all when their baby is first born.
“The Green Party would ensure that every family with a new child has financial support in those crucial first months, by making the $220 per week Parental Tax Credit available to all families who don’t get paid parental leave.
“Our Budget for All Mothers policy recognises that as a society, we all benefit when parents are supported to give their kids the love and attention they deserve.
“Low income families who don’t qualify for paid parental leave should not be left behind. A Green Government will make sure all children get a great start to life,” said Ms Davidson