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Nats overrule Parliament to veto parental leave extension

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, June 16th, 2016 - 102 comments
Categories: accountability, babies, child welfare, democracy under attack, families, health, national - Tags: , , ,

As expected:

Parental leave extension vetoed

The Government has vetoed a Labour Party bill which would have extended paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks.

Finance Minister Bill English confirmed this afternoon that he had exercised the financial veto – the first time he has used it to sink an entire piece of legislation.

Labour MP Sue Moroney’s bill had broad support in Parliament and was expected to pass into law this month.

But Mr English said it was unaffordable.

“Treasury estimates the cost of this legislation amounts to $278 million over the next four years, a significant extra – unbudgeted – cost,” he said. …

But they have have no trouble finding $20 Billion for defence spending (aka spying on us), or dangling a $3 Billion tax cut bribe.

So – like Canterbury, like Auckland, the democratic process can get stuffed as far as National are concerned. Bastards.


Background on veto process here.


102 comments on “Nats overrule Parliament to veto parental leave extension ”

  1. Sorrwerdna 1

    “So – like Canterbury, like Auckland, the democratic process can get stuffed as far as National are concerned. Bastards”
    Isn’t this the way a democracy should operate? He with the most votes wins??

    • Hanswurst 1.1

      No. However, assuming for a moment that that were true, the majority of votes in the most recent election are represented by those in parliament voting for the bill, so even by the standards you suggest, this is anti-democratic.

  2. Sabine 2

    Of course they would.

    National against paid parental leave since ages ago.

    the slogans write themselves

  3. James 3

    The democratic process allows us to select a government which has the right of financial veto to stop bills like this.

    So – yes this is exactly how it should work.

    • Sacha 3.1

      What proportion of voters know the govt has this opportunity to override the will of parliament? That knowledge would be essential for the ‘free market’ approach you prefer, surely.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      No, going against what the populace wants is anti-democratic no matter what legal niceties you’ve put in place to say that it was legal.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1

        Disagree.

        Democracies elect governments to govern, not to follow public opinion or special interests. “Going against what the populace wants” is exactly what the rule of law does, otherwise we wouldn’t need laws at all.

        • Hanswurst 3.2.1.1

          It is anti-democratic, though. That is a separate question from whether it’s a good idea or not.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2

          “Going against what the populace wants” is exactly what the rule of law does, otherwise we wouldn’t need laws at all.

          Are you sure about that?

          Consider how many people actually break the law even when they don’t know the law. It’s actually very few. The law isn’t there for the majority of people. Generally speaking, they don’t need the law. The law is there for the minority who will abuse peoples trust and people in general, the people who will steal and kill. Basically, it sets out what’s expected of people and sets consequences for working against those expectations.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.2.1

            Speeding fines, littering and pollution, freedom campers and public drunkenness, conflicts of interest ignored, cashies, underage liquor, copyright infringement.

            Just saying.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.2.1.1

              That’s not the majority and the majority would probably vote to keep laws against those things anyway and the fines for them.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                First it’s “very few” and then it’s “not a majority”, and all I did was throw a few rocks.

                Are you sure you’ve thoroughly thought this through?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes I have.

                  Why are you trying to twist what I said?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I’m pointing out that the numbers of people who break the law seem to be increasing with every comment. First it was “very few”, so I listed some laws that more than “very few” people break.

                    Then you shifted the goalposts and claimed they aren’t a majority. Are you sure that the number of people who’ve received a speeding ticket or downloaded copyrighted material are a minority?

                    How significant do their numbers have to become before they start to count as “the populace”?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m pointing out that the numbers of people who break the law seem to be increasing with every comment.

                      No, you’re twisting my words.

                      Then you shifted the goalposts and claimed they aren’t a majority.

                      No I didn’t. There was no difference between the first and the second. IMO, the majority would still vote for the law and the enforcement of that law.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      In my opinion it’s a recipe for Populism.

        • Nessalt 3.2.1.3

          you made sense for once. and you didn’t needlessly attack someone. Well done!

          and agree with you. for better or worse, your right. the underlying principal of government is to govern and make hard choices. not to bow to public opinion every time.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.3.1

            That must explain why you support the poll-driven, focus group obsessed National Party, that can’t govern until Princess Party Farrar gives it a steer.

        • Stuart Munro 3.2.1.4

          Not quite – governments are elected to govern in the public interest – when they want to overrule majority opinion they must have a strong public interest reason to do so.

          These scofflaws and economic charlatans have rarely if ever possessed either a public mandate or a credible argument. A democratic successor government would, for example, be quite entitled to throw Gerry Brownlee in jail until he can explain spending 19.5 million on a gravel-topped carpark he claims is a convention centre. Or more probably, since he cannot, until his assets are liquidated and returned to the public purse.

    • Johan 3.3

      Last time I checked, at the moment the National Party governs this country with the help of several minor parties. When a minority gov’t does not have the support of parliament, it should perhaps resign, otherwise it is viewed by its citizens as a dictatorship.

  4. Richardrawshark 4

    You assume National Party Governments are actually pro and for democracy. I think it’s more of a case they use democracy as a stepping stone to dictatorship.

    Do as i say not as I do mentality.

    Best you can do is remember this and never vote National.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      You assume National Party Governments are actually pro and for democracy.

      I certainly don’t. Realised years ago that capitalism is fully the exact opposite of democracy and National is most definitely a capitalist political party.

  5. FFS I am starting to get bloody mad about all of this governments bullshit including this veto. Parental leave is barely there, it makes life so hard having to decide WTF to do with so many limited options. We need parents to parent (as much as they can) not send their kids to play/day/school/center but how can anyone when it is completely unaffordable to have unpaid leave or find the money needed.

    gnats show what lowlife scumsucking spineless moneyfucking creeps they are

    • RedLogix 5.1

      + 1 marty

      The money barely amounts to the feeblest excuse. They just sodding can’t bring themselves to do the right thing.

      • marty mars 5.1.1

        Yep it is pure spite from the gnats

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Pfffft look at Labour willing to give $$$ to private corporate childcare providers to look after your kid while you are off making minimum wage, but you can’t have any of that same $$$ to enable you the parent to give up your part time job and stay at home to raise your kid yourself.

          As you have implied why is Government (of all shades) making it harder for parents to raise their children themselves???

          • One Two 5.1.1.1.1

            Because they are representing anti humanists

            Ling past time that people started to understand the agenda, and get decidely uncomfortable about it

        • Mosa 5.1.1.2

          We have fallen for the same National party smokescreen as usual
          They have said no with the veto only to offer longer at the election year budget.
          Their polling will be telling them its popular, why not showcase it in a feel-good 2017 campaign around who gives more to the family
          They need the middle class vote and Key wants that fourth term !

          • marty mars 5.1.1.2.1

            yep and this has also distracted from paula bereft and her incompetence. I’m sure we will get back on that message soon 🙂

    • BM 5.2

      Vote winning move by National.

      Huge voter dissatisfaction around tax payers having to endlessly fork out more money to support some one else’s kids.

      The common census seems to be if you can’t afford them, don’t have them.

      Labour, the hand out party.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        You do understand that the majority of people support more PPL don’t you?

        • BM 5.2.1.1

          I don’t think they do.

        • Ben 5.2.1.2

          The majority of people on The Standard, doesn’t equate to the majority of people.

          Why not 30, 40 or 52 weeks?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.2.1

            The majority was quite well expressed by the Parliamentary vote. “The only poll that matters”, until it suits you to ignore it. Or have you been the Executive’s lickspittle all along?

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2.2

            Poll shows support for longer parental leave

            A One News-Colmar Brunton poll released yesterday showed 62 per cent of those surveyed favoured the move – sponsored by Labour MP Sue Moroney – with 34 per cent opposed.

            That is a majority.

            So, National just went against the democratic wishes of the people and parliament.

            That is dictatorship.

            • Mosa 5.2.1.2.2.1

              Its worth the short term risk Draco.
              They will have it increased for the 2017 feel good campaign.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2.3

            The majority of people on The Standard, doesn’t equate to the majority of people.

            Why not 30, 40 or 52 weeks?

            Good question. It boils down to: why do Labour and National both want to keep forcing both parents back into the work force. Labour a few weeks later than National, but basically no difference.

      • marty mars 5.2.2

        Sadly you are untrustworthy and your propaganda post is worthless to any real conversation.

      • Johan 5.2.3

        If you can’t contribute anything worthwhile piss-off!!!

      • Heather Grimwood 5.2.4

        To BM: Once upon a time… New Zealand’s children were regarded as the mainstay, the wealth, of the future….. possibly a pragmatic regard by some, but by the majority who kept that first Labour government in office, a mature real concern for children’s wellbeing.
        It saddens me that the numbers of those too selfish or blind or totally lacking in altruism have escalated so hugely.

      • reason 5.2.5

        John Shewan helped the aussie banks try and steal $2.2 billion from NZ taxpayers BM …….

        Or 100 years worth of what the welfare fraud unit recovered …………

        Shewan sold a financial fraud product to the profit gouging aussie banks and they tried it on for $2.2 billion dollars ….

        “That is 10 hospitals or 100 schools or the entire budget deficit forecast for the year just finished. If I stole that much money I would be public enemy number one and rightly so.”

        I’d investigate Shewan based on the returns to the taxpayer we’ve been getting so far ………

        Justice wild seemed to think Shewan and the banks were dodgy as …..so if we keep shaking him a few more Billion of taxpayer money might fall out again ….

        and you would be happy a very happy taxpayer …… right?

      • M. Gray 5.2.6

        This is now the selfish attitude we have in our country under Keys divisive leadership ‘every man for himself’ very sad indeed and not the country my Maori and Pakeha ancestors went to war and died for.

  6. The democratic process allows us to select a government which has the integrity to support bills like this.

    So – yes this is exactly what must happen.

    Fify, James.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    Pity the democratic process doesn’t give us the right to stop payment of $20 Billion on defence spending.
    However, this decision today will make headlines and remove the scrutiny from the leaking Bennett. Nicely timed !

  8. Lanthanide 8

    The democratically elected government used powers granted to it by Parliament.

    • Enough is Enough 8.1

      Exactly.

      A government must have the ability to govern in accordance with the budget passed by Parliament.

      This government didn’t create the veto. They used a tool given to them. Even if it terribly mean spirited.

      Parliament.

    • McFlock 8.2

      Yes, but did it use them genuinely for the purposes for which those powers were granted?

      Or is this merely a pretext for an ideological victory?

      The thing is, the financial veto applies to whatever the government is prepared to say has more than minor effect on the budget. $78 million a year out of the entire government budget… well, it seems “minor” could be a matter of convenience.

      This government and its mates have demonstrated they’re prepared to lie/tell untruths to achieve their political objectives.

      Do you believe it’s more likely blinglish has gone something like “egad, $78 million out of $78 billion, this would be a significant loss to bear and completely fuck our math, it must be avoided!” than Cabinet discussions went “Don’t like it. Only $78 million a year, but that’s enough to spike it I reckon”?

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        Sure, you can debate the merits and rationale, and I’m not suggesting anyone stop doing that.

        What I am saying, is to stop calling it undemocratic, because this government has acted entirely by the rules of Parliament.

        In some ways, calling it undemocratic is just an ideological knee-jerk reaction. It’s like your best argument is to make the government sound evil by calling them undemocratic. Actually, just stick to arguing the merits. Just because they did something you didn’t agree with – which was entirely within their powers and rights to do – doesn’t mean you should call them undemocratic.

        I mean really, by that same logic, you should be calling the budget undemocratic, because the government used its C&S agreement to get a majority of votes in Parliament to support their budget – ie, they stuck entirely within their powers and rights to command Parliament to pass the budget, so it must be undemocratic.

        • the pigman 8.2.1.1

          Nah, just because they government HAS a power, it doesn’t mean it’s democratic. If the exercise of that power is ideological/exploitative rather than necessary.

          Did you ever read Smith’s Dream?

          Imagine this, government declares state of emergency because of rioting protests against the government. That’s democratic by your logic, because it’s a power open to them/

          • Lanthanide 8.2.1.1.1

            Moving to remove the public’s democratic right of protest it’s not the same as vetoing a bill that imposes a un-budgeted financial burden on the crown.

            • the pigman 8.2.1.1.1.1

              “a bill that imposes a un-budgeted financial burden on the crown” – once we start robotically parroting the language of Blinglish we’ve lost.

              Indeed, any non-government bill with any financial implication falls into that definition, since non-government bills aren’t costed in budgets. Do you accept that?

              • Lanthanide

                Of course, you’ve merely stated a fact.

                The veto is not automatic, if that’s what you’re weirdly trying to argue. It’s up to the discretion of the democratically elected government of the day – just like all the other things that are up to the discretion of the democratically elected government of the day.

                • Incognito

                  Actually, governments don’t get necessarily elected as such, particularly under MMP. Just a minor point.

                  This veto is a unilateral decision by Bill English to reject a decision made by NZ Parliament. It may be his constitutional right but this does not make it democratic.

                  • the pigman

                    Agreed, Incognito.

                    Perhaps Lanth, you could illustrate what part about using the veto right to strike down an entire bill, that had the support of a majority of elected representatives, you consider to be democratic.

                    • You_Fool

                      There is a confusion here between democratic and parliamentary. Even more confusion gets thrown in when the parliament was elected via a democratic process and the people making the decision are able to make the decision had the power because of a democratic process that represented the will of the people.

                      So can a democratically elected government, governing in a democratic manner using democratically enacted powers act undemocratically?

        • Weizguy 8.2.1.2

          The financial veto is, by its very nature, undemocratic. It may be a practical necessity (though I’m not convinced), but it undermines democracy. Our system starts from the point that Parliament is sovereign (blue-eyed babies etc). “Legal” is not the same as democratic.

          I would have thought that a parliamentary (particularly in the MMP era) should provide sufficient checks that would render this veto unnecessary

          In essence, it’s the veto power itself that’s undemocratic. The use of it in this case is merely offensive.

          • Lanthanide 8.2.1.2.1

            It used to be that members bills could not impose spending obligations on the crown.

            That restriction was removed, but as compensation the government was given the power to veto such spending bills.

            All seems completely fair to me.

            • Weizguy 8.2.1.2.1.1

              So this is a slightly better situation than the previous one? Why not go further?

              Why do we need the veto? It seems like a sneaky way of avoiding confidence and supply issues. Why do you think that’s “fair”?

  9. Enviro Gal 9

    Worthy defence is seeing that children get a better start in life,
    not what national are providing the 20 billon for.
    Six months paid parental leave is better for our country than tax cuts .
    Comparatively their cost is a small amount.

  10. fisiani 10

    The veto is there for exactly this reason. Just because something is popular does not make it affordable.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Very true.
      Being 1000th of your annual budget, for example, makes it very affordable indeed.

      Popularity, no, not affordable.

      Being the cost of two or three flag debacles, yep, very affordable for a government.

      Good for you, you know the difference between popularity and affordability.

    • Macro 10.2

      Of course it is not affordable – how else is uncle Bill and FJK going to get their tax cut if these loonies start handing out money for kiddies? One has to get ones priorities right doesn’t one Fisi!!

    • You_Fool 10.3

      What will be the surplus from the current budget? Is Nationals self-worth so tied into that figure and the potential election bribes… sorry I mean tax cuts, that they can’t see the benefit for jumping on board of such a popular measure? I know it was a “win” for labour, but they get to tact their name to it to and so dilute the benefit labour gets from it. Now Labour gets to say it is a policy and it is a benefit middle NZ can see and get behind.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    This is the Gnats we’re talking about – we should be thankful they’re not sacrificing our firstborn and drinking their blood. It’s probably on their agenda along with defiling the rivers and cooking the planet.

  12. Paul Campbell 12

    “So – like Canterbury, like Auckland, the democratic process can get stuffed as far as National are concerned. Bastards.”

    Let’s not forget Dunedin and Invercargil’s hospital board – no voiting for us this year

  13. TC 13

    Along with feed the kids and healthy homes bills being voted down such actions drown out the bs and spin from this govt.

    Shows their true priorities but hey anyone that’s followed the last 2 national govts before this mob knew that already.

  14. Ed 14

    Two queries:
    1. If the Bill had specifically included a clause saying that it was not subject to the relevant Standing Order, would it have been passed?
    2. What is an example of acceptable use of Cabinet overruling the wishes of a majority of Parliament?

  15. upnorth 15

    I am really disappointed in Labours view on this. We have child deaths constantly.
    Why isn’t Labour campaigning for this more as it was Sue Bradfords bill on anti-smacking as it has simply failed.

    As mothers on benefits already get home leave as such it is working mums. Are there any stats around who would actually benefit?

    • Sabine 15.1

      oh dear.

      • the pigman 15.1.1

        Way upnorth the rivers of concern tr0ll tears are bursting their banks.

        Definitely another one of those “former labour supporters that stopped supporting them when they became a hard left commie pinko party”.

        *yawn*!

    • Anne 15.2

      Whatever you’ve been taking lay off will you. Then you might start making a bit of sense.

      • upnorth 15.2.1

        You are always bullying me Anne

        Re-read – $280m on stopping child abuse and death is a lot better spending than a vote catching parental leave program don’t you think.

        • Anne 15.2.1.1

          ??
          To my recollection, I’ve only ever responded to you once before.
          You clearly don’t know what bullying is.

          Edit: I once replied to you about a year ago so don’t make things up.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1.2

          False binary drivel. Only incompetent trash would pretend we can’t do both. Parliament voted against you, and all the other incompetent trash.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.3

          Increasing paid parental leave will probably help reduce the number of child deaths as people are under less stress at a very vulnerable time.

  16. justsomeguy 16

    Why doesn’t someone move a vote of confidence in the government because of their use of the veto to overrule a majority in parliament and see which way the votes fall?

  17. Paul 17

    After a bill which would have extended paid parental leave to 26 weeks was vetoed by Finance Minister Bill English today, its champion Sue Moroney says her options are limited.

  18. Cricklewood 18

    The financial veto is a necessary tool for a governing party or coalition. You may note like how it is used and you can vote accordingly.
    Imagine a lab green coalition which has say nz1st offering confidence and supply. A michevious nat party may put a flurry of members bills in the ballot that extend the gold card or echos another less than desirable nz1st policy. It could result in a very unsettled parliament the existence of a veto prevents this from happening.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      +1

      If the shoe were on the other foot, I suspect that some people who are arguing that this veto isn’t democratic, would instead be arguing favour of a veto for some other contrived reason.

    • Wayne 18.2

      A very good explanation as to why the major parties in Parliament agreed to the financial veto in the first place. It is an intended part of the MMP system. Otherwise the govt could easily loose control of its budget. It is very easy for small parties to vote for extra expenditure. They are never really responsible for control of govt finances.
      Naturally the opposition will complain about its use as oppositions always do, but I am pretty sure Dr Cullen used the veto when he was Finance Minister. In essence the opposition cannot dictate the govts budget. If they want new expenditure they have to win the election and in NZ they are only three years apart.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.2.1

        Meanwhile. on Earth, the reason the National Party vetoed the bill is it’s provenance. No amount of sophistry from cronies with massive conflicts of interest is going to change that.

        • Cricklewood 18.2.1.1

          Yep and if you don’t like that they have done it don’t vote for them. That’s the inherent risk a govt takes when exercising the veto.

      • Ed 18.2.2

        “loose”control of a budget would be a very bad thing – but individual votes are often under or over spent by more than $280 million.

        Democracy is not always easy. I haven’t seen a good answer to either of my questions in 14 above.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.2.3

        Otherwise the govt could easily loose control of its budget.

        What a load of bollocks. If they’re losing control of the budget then they probably shouldn’t be the government as they’re obviously constantly getting out voted in parliament.

        In essence the opposition cannot dictate the govts budget.

        But parliament should be able to.

      • Weizguy 18.2.4

        ” Otherwise the govt could easily loose [sic] control of its budget.”

        Yes, because NZ has a rich history of Parliament voting in ways inconsistent with the wishes of the Executive. This is more born to rule FPP mentality. Heaven forbid we expect coalitions of different parties work together to pass legislation for the greater good…

        Any suggestion that the veto is required to avoid a loss of budgetary control is self-serving scaremongering. In this case, it merely serves to allow small support parties to make the right noises about paid parental leave, while continuing to prop up the government that has denied this opportunity to New Zealanders.

      • Macro 18.2.5

        NRT sums it up better than I

        In New Zealand Parliament is supreme – this veto undermines that.

        If the government thinks the bill is a financial matter, it could simply declare it to be a matter of supply and stand or fall on the result. Their refusal to do this is simply cowardly. But perhaps, having worked so hard to alienate its coalition partners, National is no longer sure of their support.

      • Incognito 18.2.6

        This comment seems to imply that the Government has tight control of its budget, as the mythical managers of the NZ economy, which is not true, as we all know all too well.

        Obviously, the Government is responsible for “govt finances” [sic] but to what or whom is it accountable?

        Naturally the opposition will complain about its use as oppositions always do

        Have you ever been in opposition or have you only ever had the honour to represent the people while in Government? I have to say that I find this a gobsmacking comment coming from an ex-politician. In other words, I assume that you know better than most how our parliamentary system works; the role of the Opposition is to oppose, not complain. Complaining you do your Agony Aunt or to the Ombudsman. In the words of Andrew Little he and the Opposition have a “constitutional duty to challenge the actions of the Government over the expenditure of public funds”. And you call that “complain”!?

        So, Dr Cullen, i.e. NZ Labour did it too? Why is this always used as some kind of ‘killer’ argument? It is pathetically weak and puerile even if (not when) the similarities are striking, which they rarely are.

        In essence the opposition cannot dictate the govts budget.

        Nice try but disingenuous framing nevertheless; it was to be put to a vote in Parliament and a majority of Members of Parliament would have voted in favour. In effect you are saying that the Government can always overrule a Parliamentary vote as it sees fit.

        Lastly, no political party or politician ever campaigns on a fully-costed and detailed budget for the next three years (assuming full term) just in case they get into Government so it is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that “If they want new expenditure they have to win the election”.

      • Stuart Munro 18.2.7

        Oh what rubbish – a modest contribution to Cabinet Club will get you anything you want.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.3

      The financial veto is a necessary tool for a governing party or coalition.

      No it’s not.

      A michevious nat party may put a flurry of members bills in the ballot that extend the gold card or echos another less than desirable nz1st policy.

      Just because the members bills are in the ballot doesn’t mean that they will be drawn from the ballot.

      It could result in a very unsettled parliament the existence of a veto prevents this from happening.

      No it couldn’t and no it doesn’t.

  19. Rodel 19

    English vetoes the bill. Was he born with that contemptuous smirk or has he cultivated it to show his disdain for ordinary working people?

  20. Richardrawshark 20

    One news summed it up well. when put against 3 billion in tax cuts and 20billion in defence spending 284 million vetoed was just a nasty kick in the guts from an uncaring govt determined to lose the next election.

    The veto power has only been used once and never for anything as a members bill, it’s only ever been used for amendments previously and that was once.

    It’s childish BNS, and considering there current shout out saying looky here we REALLY don’t give a fuck, now they want to be even meaner and stop low income families from the time they need with their kids after birth.

    Not in a month of fucking sundays can you spin Nationals actions into a positive without looking a complete bloody tard.

    • Wayne 20.1

      You are incorrect about the circumstances when the veto is used. In fact it is only ever used for members bills.

      By definition it is about vetoing a measure put up by the opposition which affects the govts budget. In contrast the govt obviously does not veto its own bills.

      • Pasupial 20.1.1

        Wayne

        There is nothing in the cabinet manual that prevents the financial veto being used on amendments proposed by an insubordinate faction of the main governing party. Nor, more importantly, on bills put forward by a smaller party within the governing coalition (you really have to get your head out of FPP thinking, though I suppose that was the system back in your day). Also, crossbenchers which are not necessarily the opposition.

        https://cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/7.123

        I like NRT’s take on this:

        If the government thinks the bill is a financial matter, it could simply declare it to be a matter of supply and stand or fall on the result. Their refusal to do this is simply cowardly. But perhaps, having worked so hard to alienate its coalition partners, National is no longer sure of their support.

        http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2016/06/cowardly-undemocratic-and.html

        [edit; I see Macro has already used this quote above, but I’ll leave it in; as it does bear repeating.]

        • Wayne 20.1.1.1

          My whole time as an MP was under MMP. I suppose in theory a support party could put up a members bill that would attract the veto, but in practice they don’t. The reason being that it would blow apart the coalition. What happens is that the opposition puts up a bill which the minor coalition parties find easy to support. That is what has happened here.
          The financial veto exists to avoid making this sort of thing a confidence and supply matter, which if imposed on smaller parties on something like this would be seen as bullying. In this case at least the minor party gets to express their view by voting.
          The whole concept of the financial veto is part of the machinery of MMP, rather then FFP. Such vetoes were not necessary under FFP because the governing party always had a majority.

      • framu 20.1.2

        lets be clear that its a budget that is being used for electioneering bribes

        its not that the govt cant afford it – its that they cant afford it if they want to offer some sweet sweet bribes next year

        sure, have a financial veto – but just like the use of urgency, it should have a provable need to back it up – not “cause finance MP says so” – AND – you should be able to table evidence that proves the need

  21. Tooting Popular Front 21

    The National Party have decided to give us all a sneak preview of what life will be like when the TPPA or RCEP comes into law – agents that do not respect the will of the people writing or preventing laws being enacted based on their shareholders wishes. It won’t be much fun for anyone outside the top 0.01%…

  22. Jenny 22

    The opposition parties are not powerless.

    They can retaliate.

    Have they got the guts, or the will to do so?

    Is it time to end the rule of elected dictatorship?

    Is it time for us to return our democracy to the primacy of parliament?

    In response to the irresponsible use of the veto, the opposition parties should vow to make it an election issue, by promising that on becoming government the veto power will be repealed.

    Simple easy, people love democracy and hate dictatorship. It should be a no brainer.

    Will they do it?

    Or are all the complainers being hypocrites?

    Does political self interest also rule the opposition parties?

    • srylands 22.1

      There is no chance that the Labour party will adopt a policy of amending the Public Finance Act to abolish the financial veto. The financial veto had cross party support. Labour recognised that Parliament could not be allowed to dictate a Budget. All Finance Ministers will guard the veto.

      If you can get Grant Robertson to commit to abolishing the veto I will vote Labour.

  23. Erik Bloodaxe 23

    Amazingly, Peter Dunne is dead on in his tweet. Holy moley. This government are carping on about making significant changes in social services with the emphasis supposedly on placing the child or young person at the centre of our thinking – pity it doesn’t extend beyond the rhetoric necessary to roll out privatisation in the social sector.

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