Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Paid Parental leave extension passes second hurdle

Fantastic to hear the first reading of the Private Member's Bill to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks pass tonight.  Labour, Greens, NZ First, the Maori Party, Mana and United Future all voted in favour, and only National and Act opposed.

The first hurdle was getting a Bill into the ballot and drawn - Sue Moroney undertook this and had some good luck to get it pop out relatively quickly, and now the second hurdle is dealt with we have a bit of distance to travel before the third, which will be submissions to the Select Committee process.

The 26 For Babies campaign is being launched tomorrow (Thursday) to support the Bill through to a hopefully successful third reading, and you can show your support by Liking their Facebook page (and no doubt participating in other forthcoming activities for those not into that kind of thing).

Please consider this an open thread to discuss the Bill, the concept of paid parental leave in general, and the political aspect of today's votes (another Opposition-sponsored Bill also passed its first reading, on Mondayising Waitangi and ANZAC Days). 



14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hasn't Bill English said he's going to veto this bill no questions as soon as it passes? Not much point to get excited when you've got douchecanoes like him in government.

me.

ChundaMars said...

I'm a bit cynical on this one. Not that I don't approve of the idea of longer parental leave (I do) but I'm cynical about the political motives. As Labour (and the other parties of course) already know the bill will be vetoed, they're safe in the knowledge they can score political points without then needing to find the cash to pay for this policy. Would Labour be proposing this increase if they were in power right now? Maybe not...

All that aside I do think parental leave should be longer. I like the policy that Norway has - a generous allowance but also a requirement for both mother AND father to take at least some portion for themselves, but choose how to split the majority.

Hugh said...

"Would Labour be proposing this increase if they were in power right now? Maybe not..."

True, but by doing this they make it harder for them to avoid the issue when in power.

Julie said...

Thanks for the comments so far. I think there is a very strong point in pursuing this, despite the threat of the veto. My understanding is that the way the Bill is currently drafted the idea is that the extension would take effect once Government is back in surplus, which gives National no reason to veto actually. Also it gives us a chance to show the strong support in Select Committee for it to happen regardless of surplus, which will hopefully create some political space for National to be able to not veto on those grounds. Maybe. I hope so!

aliya said...

As a woman unable to have children, I was highly offended by National's Barry inferring that I should have no input in this bill.
A) I have for the last seven years paid a significantly high amount of funds in taxes at highest rate....I think I and any other childless taxpayer should have input...

B) I prefer to invest in children and their life when they are young and can most benefit. Studies show babies are better off with mum home longer.

C) I think Government needs to think long term benefits and stop treating government policies etc like it's a business decision (will mothers taying home have a long term benefit for the country, yes....will it look good fiscally for a few years no...but there will be long term dividends.

D) If National Vetoes, I will be happy to hear all their reasons for not supporting children, families and our country long term. Good on Labour for putting it forward and good on all parties for moving it to the next stage.

Cat said...

I also found this article interesting (no idea if it's true, obviously, but still).

"In April, Mr English said the Government would veto the bill because it would require an extra $500 million in borrowing over the next three to four years.

But Ms Moroney obtained Department of Labour advice to Mr English in April which showed the estimated cost was $285.6 million over the three years."

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10822004

Anonymous said...

Why do people feel that they have a right to procreate at other people's expense? Given the world's population level, it's not even as if it we need to boost rates for survival purposes. Politicians will follow something if there are votes in it for them.

ChundaMars said...

See that's a valid viewpoint Anon, but very short-sighted. People are going to procreate (clearly) and this, like subsidised early childhood education and free doctors for kids, ensures they get the best start in life. And it's not even about THEM - it's good for all of us as a nation if the next generation grow up healthy and loved and secure. Because sick, unhealthy kids are a burden on the healthcare system, and kids who grow up without healthy relationships end up in our prisons - and along the way, they often ruin the lives of other people such as yourself. Kids who grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults however, well, they pay it all back (and more) in tax eventually - hey, they'll be funding your pension one day! (If there still IS a pension by then, but I digress)
So you can look at it like "I'm paying for someone else's decision to have a child" or you can say "This person has had a child and to ensure that child becomes a productive member of society I'm happy to pitch in".
That's my philosophy in a nutshell anyway.

ChundaMars said...

See that's a valid viewpoint Anon, but very short-sighted. People are going to procreate (clearly) and this, like subsidised early childhood education and free doctors for kids, ensures they get the best start in life. And it's not even about THEM - it's good for all of us as a nation if the next generation grow up healthy and loved and secure. Because sick, unhealthy kids are a burden on the healthcare system, and kids who grow up without healthy relationships end up in our prisons - and along the way, they often ruin the lives of other people such as yourself. Kids who grow into healthy, well-adjusted adults however, well, they pay it all back (and more) in tax eventually - hey, they'll be funding your pension one day! (If there still IS a pension by then, but I digress)
So you can look at it like "I'm paying for someone else's decision to have a child" or you can say "This person has had a child and to ensure that child becomes a productive member of society I'm happy to pitch in".
That's my philosophy in a nutshell anyway.

A Nonny Moose said...

Aliya: just a gentle reminder that it's Paid PARENTAL Leave ie: the non-giving birth partner can use it too. Parenting is solely not just the birth-mother's responsibility.

Hugh said...

@A Nonny: Thanks for making that correction, I wanted to but couldn't find the right way to phrase it.

Aliya said...

Hugh and Nonny Moose, you should see re my comment that I am female and my perspective was from that point of view....that I should have a voice on the matter whether or not I have a child....similarly Jessica Arden is female and was the one told she couldn't have an opinion on the matter b/c she didn't have children....told this by a female of the Nat'l party...that's the point I was stressing....the fact that I referred to mothers --feel free to insert fathers with a slash behind mothers (or even put them in front)...

I have no issue with "parents" having the leave regardless of gender....thus, similarly all males are welcome to parental leave as well in my book and I'm happy to see my tax money go to it if as it's going to result in more productive citizens (re the point made by ChundaMars). In fact, I'd happily give back my 3% decrease in taxes I've been enjoying if I were guaranteed the revenue would go for this type of leave.

Herman said...

Anon is right....your breeding in no way imposes an obligation on anyone else to fund it.....I thought slavery of some to others was in the dustbin of history where it belongs but not according to the entitled left it seems...

AnneE said...

Would all those people who object to the use of taxes to ensure a good start for other people's children (and presumably also those children's health care, education etc) please ensure that they, in turn, do not rely on the next generation in any way in future. That means they get no use of or benefit from any services or goods supplied by that next generation's work, or that next generation's taxes.