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Choices: Paid parental leave

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 26th, 2012 - 46 comments
Categories: child welfare, families, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

What are the “asset loyalty” schemes going to cost? $350 Million? $1.3 Billion? Nothing? $200 Million? I don’t know, and neither does John Key. But whatever it costs, he’ll find the money. Because handouts to the rich are important. Unlike, say, parental leave:

Govt still plans to block parental leave bill

A Labour-backed bill to extend paid parental leave from 14 weeks to six months looks set to pass its first reading on Wednesday, but the Government is sticking to a pledge to kill it with its financial veto. …

National and ACT are both opposing the bill, and the Government will use its veto at the bill’s third reading because of the estimated extra cost of $150 million a year, which ministers say would have to be borrowed.

Key loves mythical “mum and dad investors”. Real mums and dads – not so much.

46 comments on “Choices: Paid parental leave”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Excellent point Anthony which the opposition parties, activists and community generally should leap on with a growl and cause the natz some serious grief.

    As for the tory double speak “asset loyalty schemes”? Taxpayers potentially funding some at least, other taxpayers, to basically scab on the nation’s legacy and future benefits of hydro power schemes. Is everything now akin to “flybuy points”?

    A real asset loyalty scheme would be to not flog them off in the first instance, or for future governments to commit to renationalising.

  2. Anne 2


    Maggie Barry: what a thoroughly nasty piece of work. Wasn’t it her beloved boss who came up with that one re-Helen Clark? She’s my electorate MP, and I’ve have noticed she doesn’t have an original thought of her own – just copies what other people say.

    • Dr Terry 2.1

      Interesting to see what lies behind behind that smiling face and smooth talk on the Garden Show!

    • Billy Fish 2.2

      Barry is a nasty piece of work. I recall her interviewing a new NZ novelist who was using crowd sourcing to fund her writing time. Great idea – very entrepenaurial and the novel is on a number of top read lists – the sort of thing you think a true national type would appreciate. Someone making an effort , seeking funding not form the state but from people who believe in the project…
      But no she launched into a nasty bitchy attack accusing the author of bludging and sponging.
      Personally I think she was threatened by any woman smarter, more motivated and a threat in taking the spotlight from her.

      • David H 2.2.1

        “Personally I think she was threatened by any woman smarter, more motivated and a threat in taking the spotlight from her.” And that’s every other woman in the country. Except the Nat Govt women members.

    • tracey 2.3

      which is odd because nat supporters claim only labour is nasty? or is it Natsy?

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Another call from NACT to show us the money.

    The debate opened by Ms Moroney was punctuated by yells of “show us the money” from National MP Nick Smith.

    Which was quite simply answered:

    Ms Ardern, who is 32 today, said National, which opposes the legislation, was asking people if they “preferred coal or children”.

    “Stop subsidising heavy polluters and we can back kids. Build one less road of national significance and we can help kids and their families,” she said. “This Government has proven that their priority is not children.”

    Seems simple enough, stop throwing money away on useless RoNS and subsidising polluters and there’s heaps of the stuff to go around. Reversing the tax cuts for the rich would probably help as well.

    PS. I’d also like to know why it was important to put in the article Adern’s age.

    • Anne 3.1

      I’d also like to know why it was important to put in the article Adern’s age.

      Well, I think it was to Jacinda Ardern’s benefit to mention it. It transpires our dear friend Maggie was 38 before she had her one and only child.

      People in glass houses etc…

    • The Woodpecker 3.2

      Happy Birthday Ms Ardern

  4. DH 4

    The principle of PPL I don’t have any problems with but now is not the time for it. This is typical of Labour, they want to spend money we don’t have on what is largely middle-class welfare. National have made a dogs breakfast of our economy and the kitty is bare, PPL is well down the list of things we should be spending our scarce taxpayer dollars on right now.

    • tracey 4.1

      most studies agree that constant parental attention to a baby in its early years is crucial. Ppl is fence at the top of the cliff not ambulance at the bottom. Remove the loyalty bonus and thats three years paid for. Dh do you support a reduction in child abuse as a high priority?

    • Carol 4.2

      DH, are you saying only middle-class parents work and have babies?

      • DH 4.2.1

        No, I’m saying that the majority of the recipients of PPL will be the middle & upper classes, most of whom can get by without it. The general idea of welfare is to target only the needy and a lot of people don’t need PPL but will still get it. That’s wasted taxpayer dollars that we don’t have right now.

        • Carol

          So, do you mean that middleclass parents (most usually women) should take leave without pay, and take the consequences of any hit to their careers, or resign…. or that they shouldn’t take leave?

          • DH

            Carol I said I don’t disagree with the principle of it, it’s just that we can’t afford to spend more money on that scale at a time when we’re so heavily in debt. PPL is different to the likes of infrastructure spending because it’s a committed annual spend that you can’t take back or stop. We’ve already committed to massive annual welfare spending on WFF, ECE, paid child care and others to support families, there has to come a time when fiscal responsibility takes priority.

            • Carol

              It’s not welfare, DH. It’s a necessary investment in society and the future. Yet the attitude of undervaluing childcare and child rearing persists. It’d only be included in the GDP if the parent/s continued to work & paid someone else to look after their children.

              • DH

                It is welfare Carol. You can make up all the justifications you like for it, it'[s still welfare.

                I disagree it’s a necessary investment in society. Families should be able to get by on a single income for six months without needing charity from the taxpayer. A real investment in society would be to address the reasons why low-middle income earners are struggling so much. Labour’s answer is to throw money at them when most people would rather pay their own way in this world.

                • Ed

                  You are right they should, bu the reality of greater income inequality is that many families (and an increasing proportion of families) rely on two incomes. Support for mothers to look after their babies for a period before returning to work have a pay-off in lower social problems, better child development, a more cohesive society. As for the argument that “we do not have the money”, that has been answered in a number of other posts – the reduction in revenue was in part deliberate policy of this government, and spending choices such as the extension of the SCF guarantee, subsidies to polluters, subsidies to a USA movie company, subsidies to farmers, subsidies to those able to afford to buy and hold shares in assets the government is selling, are all choices the government has made. A choice they are also making on a daily basis is to keep increasing government borrowing to cover the reality that they have failed in all their major economic goals – but are determined that the wealthy will not suffer as a result.

                  This is a relatively small area where it would be possible for National to meet on small part of one promise – that of ‘catching up with Australia’. Instead they make up their mind before even hearing submissions from the public, or it appears propoer economic analysis of costs.

                  I suspect Peter Dunne is happy to play this both ways for all it is worth – the media will refer to his single vote as somehow being a special “casting” vote, and he will only ‘reluctantly’ support the government when it becomes a vote of confidence in the government.

                • Hayden

                  Labour’s answer is to throw money at them…

                  As opposed to simply making housing, utilities, food, childcare, clothing, etc., cheaper?

                  • DH

                    Yep. The prime reason a typical single income family needs PPL, WFF and other benefits is because they’re paying crippling sums in rent or mortgage. The sensible approach is to do something about that high housing cost, instead Labour just want to keep giving people more money so they can keep paying too-high prices for everything. Labour supported the ever-increasing cost of housing by subsidising it with welfare topups.

                    PPL is expected to cost over $300 million a year by the next election. You can build nearly 1000 houses with $300mil. Every year. What’s the priority here, affordable housing or continually topping up peoples’ incomes with money the taxpayer is running out of?

                    The cost of PPL is 1000 new houses every year. Can we afford it? I don’t think so. Fix the housing problem first however & then I reckon we could afford it.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      It’s possible to fund PPL – just undo the damage that NACT have done, don’t build the RoNS and cut the polluters subsidies.

    • felix 4.4

      DH, none of this stuff is “affordable” or “unaffordable” in absolute terms. We can either spend on this or we can spend on something else. The onus is not on Labour to make that call, it’s National who have the power to decide what the priorities are.

      By putting this up it forces National to stand up and say out loud “We decide what to spend money on, and this policy is less important to us than consultancy fees for selling our assets.”

      And that’s why they’re getting so angry and nasty about it.

    • Frida 4.5

      DH – middleclass welfare seems to this reader to be “share bonus schemes” for those middle class Mums and Dads able to afford to buy shares in the first place. What say you to that? Consistent in your disparagement are you? I hope so

      • DH 4.5.1

        Absolutely, I’m dead against that too. Life ain’t black & white and it’s not so easy to adhere rigidly to principles but I do my best.

  5. tracey 5

    Dh did you think the upper class welfare at the height of the recession was affordable and money well spent.

    • DH 5.1

      Absolutely not. The plain facts are that people in the middle/upper income brackets have done extremely well for themselves this last five years compared to the rest of the country. They had a very generous tax cut AND they got huge cuts in interest rates on their mortgage(s). In real terms they’ve had a big increase in their disposable income and they certainly don’t deserve any more handouts from the taxpayer IMO.

      If PPL was offered to just those earning below the average household income I’d personally look more favorably at it. We could probably afford that.

  6. Chris 6

    Just googled the bios of maggie barry and Jacinda Ardern.No contest!Inellectually Jacinda could
    chew barry up and spit her out and barry knows this. This is why nats are to taught to put the boot in and divert any coherent intelligent thoughts and dialogue from “those people on the other side” What makes barry think that she qualifies as a politician when she has had no experience in politics whereas Jacinda has been immersed in politics for many years. I wonder how deep barry had to dig to come up with “don’t be precious petal” I thought Lockjaw Smith was there to make sure the tone of Parliament was kept to a high standard.

    • felix 6.1

      Lockwood wasn’t in the chair at the time, (deputy speaker) Eric Roy was.

      And he really let his prejudices show at the end of Sue Moroney’s first speech introducing the bill to the house.

    • Mark 6.2

      Don’t we expect MP’s to be generally reflective of our society?
      Maggie Barry has experience in life, business, family etc..
      Jacinda may in your opinion be intellectually superior, however she doesn’t appear to have ever produced anything, had a job that wasn’t taxpayer funded, or had to deal with the things that most kiwis do.. teacher interviews, buying a house, dealing with sick kids, …
      Compared with the hate and bile spewed at NACTs or RWNJs in the house or here, Maggie’s statement was very mild.
      But, as a comparison to Ms Arderns’ statements on many things, I’ll have a go..
      Maori have no great connection with land, water, sky. Taniwhas are bullshit and have no place in society.
      I’m a Pakeha NZer, I’m qualified to make these statements.

      • tracey 6.2.1

        So you are saying if you havent experienced something you are not equipped to comment on it. Interesting.

        What has ms barry produced? I note she got right behind the pm for the conference money photo.

      • Carol 6.2.2

        And jobs that are necessary to society and the economy, hence taxpayer funded, are not considered real jobs or providing real-world experience? And why do you consider that those

        Those of us who don’t have children, and are life-time renters should be represented, too.

        Using your logic, DH, what does a person with a mortgage know about having to find somewhere to rent these days and having to deal with landlords?

        And in the end, a comprehensive understanding of the issues is what is required of an MP, and the willingness and ability to consult with the Kiwis they represent.

        • Mark

          Most people have paid rent, and do know how to deal with a landlord.
          It is very debatable how many MP jobs are necessary to society, especially when they have been rejected by their electorate and have snuck in on a party list.
          Jacinda has publicly demonstrated her ignorance by saying she can’t afford to buy a house, and had been proved otherwise.
          Once again, very telling the lack of response here to logical arguments or facts.. if Standardistas cared at all about those they pretend to care about they would be acting, not spewing bile.
          Beneficiaries are lazy and ignorant.
          DPB dependant solo mums are lazy sluts who don’t look after their children
          Maoris are dumb
          Socialists are traitors
          NACTs are all haters and corrupt
          Just saying

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.3

        however she doesn’t appear to have ever produced anything,

        Well, that’s where you’d be wrong. Administration is a very important job. BTW, John Key has also never produced anything. The difference is, of course, that what he did do just crashed the global economy and Maggie Barry and the rest of NACT believe this BS of shifting money is actually worth millions.

        had a job that wasn’t taxpayer funded,

        What’s that got to do with anything? As I said, administration is vitally important.

        or had to deal with the things that most kiwis do.. teacher interviews, buying a house, dealing with sick kids, …

        So? In being an MP being able to read and take advice from the research is more important as it’s going to be more accurate than any number of anecdotes taken from experience.

        Compared with the hate and bile spewed at NACTs or RWNJs in the house or here, Maggie’s statement was very mild.

        Sorry to disappoint but there’s no hate filled bile spewed here – the moderators tend to catch it and delete it. And Barry’s comment was hate filled bile formed through ignorance and baseness that had no significance to the discussion at hand and thus not mild.

  7. AnnaLiviaPluraBella 7

    Anthony R0bin, very well put. And it is good to see ***Jacinda getting “air time”. I hope she is allowed to continue to front like this. This is a defining Labour Party issue. Our natural constituency benefits from it. Those who have failed to come out in the past elections value it. More issues passionately presented like that and we will get moving in the polls.

    We need more passionate spokespeople like Jacinda, Cosgrove and Cunliffe being liberated to speak out. Then people will see that we actually are very different from National. Give them space to let their identities through. Stop the twits in the labour back-office dumbing down our spokespeople and our identity. That is why we are going nowhere in the polls.

    Below is an example of the embarrassing apologetic mush that the Labour back-office puts out under Shearer’s name. This is part of his note to members yesterday. Are the twits trying to get Maggies Barry’s vote?
    “Labour is conscious of the need to be thrifty and to make sure that the extension to paid parental leave is affordable. We will work with other political parties and experts, including Treasury and IRD, to find a workable solution in the current economic climate.”

    ***Jacinda should stand in the North Shore and take on Barry nose-to-nose.

  8. Tracey 8


    No one minds the extra money we childless folk pay for their children’s healthcare and education but god forbid we have an opinion on supporting their child care.

    Mark, you and Ms Barry do understand that Jacinda is actually trying to support parents and children with this move?????

    • Mark 8.2

      No, Jacinda is trying to get productive people and good parents to pay more tax, so she and her ilk can redistribute it according to socialist ideology.
      The rest is just bullshit.
      The national government and supporters are interested in lifting all society (as long as that society takes some responsibility and tries to lift themselves)
      The left wing haters are interested only in themselves, power at any cost, and oppression of everyone, especially those that can think and provide for themselves.

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        yeah, whatever dude.

      • Carol 8.2.2

        The national government and supporters are interested in lifting all society (as long as that society takes some responsibility and tries to lift themselves)

        and that’s worked so well when the Nats have been in government!

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.3

        The national government and supporters are interested in lifting all society (as long as that society takes some responsibility and tries to lift themselves)

        No they’re not. What they want is for them to be rich and everyone else to be poor so that they can lord it over the poor.

        The left wing haters are interested only in themselves, power at any cost, and oppression of everyone, especially those that can think and provide for themselves.


      • tracey 8.2.4

        its nor worked at all in four years. Its that aspirational thing which really means we are going to pretend to work toward something you all want while doing what we want for who we wanr. Rhetoric not action. Again.

    • Carol 8.3

      And god forbid if anyone who is not LGBorT dares to speak about or vote on the same sex marriage bill!

  9. Tracey 9

    Don’t get Eion Sparrow started on Ms Barry. Obviously he has a jaundiced view as she usurped him, needless to say he alleges she was very unpopular and quite foul mouthed off camera….

  10. Populuxe1 10

    NZ’s parental leave policies are shameful – you would honestly think this country hates children!

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