Parental leave veto: National chooses excuses not families

National’s decision to veto Labour’s paid parental leave Bill today is another example of the Government choosing to make excuses instead of doing what’s right for families, the Green Party said.

The Bill had enough support from other parties in Parliament to become law and extend paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks.

“The Government should be doing what’s right for babies, parents, and families because that’s what’s right for the whole country, but National is full of excuses why not to,” Green Party workplace relations spokesperson Denise Roche said.

“All the evidence shows that the first few months of a baby’s life are very important. Investing in paid parental leave will pay off through healthier, happier kids and families.

“Vetoing paid parental leave isn’t just bad for families, it’s also anti-democratic. National has chosen to override Parliament and overrule what’s best for families.

“The OECD average for total parental leave is 54.1 weeks. A Green Government would make sure New Zealand is better than average, not worse, when it comes to supporting families.

“The extra cost of 26 weeks is much lower than National has said, and actually it’s a small price to pay to make sure our kids have the best possible start in life.

“The message from National today is clear: if people want more paid parental leave, we need to change the government,” said Ms Roche.

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