(Incidentally, check out #maggiebarrystandingorders on Twitter for some laughs – apparently you need 3 stars on Trade Me to talk about Asset Sales…)
Tau Henare put his foot in it again when confronted with the fact that smoking while pregnant was bad for babies:
Mr Henare disputed that and asked if Ms Houston knew of any woman who had smoked while pregnant. “What’s wrong with your children?” he asked when Ms Houston replied that she had.
She said her son had asthma and eczema and her daughter asthma, allergies and a compromised immune system.
“When I look at my daughter . . . the first question I ask is: if I didn’t smoke in my pregnancy would she be different? And I’ll never know,” she replied emotionally.
Before going on to show his lack of understanding of statistics by saying that he smoked and his children didn’t; therefore the children of smokers weren’t more likely to smoke (despite the flood of evidence…).
It was somewhat amusing to hear Key’s vociferous attacks during the Mondayisation Bill (“I’ve seen how Labour work, I know they like holidays…”), despite the fact that earlier in the week he didn’t know his or his party’s position on the bill, and the fact that most businesses and especially the tourism industry he’s supposed to represent all support it. All his false figures (including 225,000 unaffected self-employed workers in the costs, and not adding in any tourism etc benefits) couldn’t help him: it obviously really hurt having the first Bill this parliament to pass a reading without their support.
But the real venom was over the second to do so: the Paid Parental Leave Bill.
Here they were using discredited figures as well. Rather than the $450-500 million they claim, it will cost $285 million over 3 years.
While the figure makes a closer correlation to the $360 million looters’ bonus, the $120 million on brokerage & advertising fees asset sales will throw up, a RONS motorway, the $2 billion we’ve spent on tax cuts for the wealthy, or the couple of billion we’re subsidising polluters with National’s changing the ETS to an Emissions Trading Scam, National preferred to talk PIIGS.
Louise Upston and Maggie Barry (she has a child, so she’s allowed to comment) compared the cost to the likes of Spain’s €820 billion debt, suggesting Greece needed €240 billion of bailout money because they have 3 weeks more PPL than we do.
[Maggie Barry] thank you Labour and the Greens for supporting these ridiculous policies. We are doing the right thing. As happens so often, Labour is out of step with the times. It is cocooned. It is unaware of cataclysmic upheavals and seismic activities… This is an ill-advised bill for these times that is poorly executed and put through, and I am very, very glad indeed for the children of New Zealand that we are not supporting this rubbish.
In fact those with more generous schemes – Sweden has 16 months, Germany and Norway 12 months – don’t have economies in trouble. Indeed 24 out of 25 OECD countries have better schemes than ours, which is why the UN were over last week criticisng Jo Goodhew over our provisions. But the fact that Albania and Bulgaria feel that 1 year’s PPL is affordable doesn’t suit the Nats argument so we have Jo Goodhew telling “that side“:
Go on, get on your hind legs.
And Nick Smith’s constant:
show us the money!
Despite plenty of suggestions where the money could come from.
Add this to Tuesday’s Phil Heatley dismissal of 142,000 voters’ opinions as irrelevant as he didn’t agree with their petition, Key’s dismissal of Russel Norman’s brokerage fees, the constant references to Planet Labour, and this week the government’s arrogant attitude is really showing.
[Incidentally, the Rev Dr David Clark has obviously been calling on heavenly help and got another Member’s Bill drawn – this time for $15/hr minimum wage. The media have a bigger story though with Louisa Wall‘s same-sex marriage bill, so even Clayton Cosgrove‘s SOE (protecting NZ’s assets) bill will be overlooked]