Paid parental leave bill faces defeat

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, November 6th, 2014 - 9 comments
Categories: act, maori party, national, national/act government, same old national - Tags:

Sue Moroney paid parental leave

Losing an election is always a difficult thing.  But the pain becomes acute when you are confronted with the first defeat of a measure that in a more perfect would would succeed.

If you need an example the almost inevitable defeat of Sue Moroney’s paid parental leave bill is one.  Before the election she had the numbers in Parliament to get paid parental leave for 26 weeks passed despite intense National pressure on the Maori Party  and National were going to be forced to use the financial veto to stop it.  Now the numbers are no longer there, although only just.

Facing reality she proposed changes that would have significantly lessened her bill’s effect.  Instead of leave being initially for 26 weeks for everyone it would be 22 weeks for parents of babies born prematurely or with a disability, and families who have a multiple birth.

It is hard to imagine a more benign proposal or a more minimalist.  Obviously Moroney wanted to make a statement showing that National for political purposes was going to defeat her bill no matter what.

The changed policy would have cost $6 million in the first year as opposed to the original policy’s cost of $150 million per year.  This is less than one quarter of the cost of the flag referendum, presuming that original estimates are correct.

Last night in the committee stages these changes were voted down by the National Act majority.  It seems almost inevitable that when the third reading of the bill is held National will vote it down.

Moroney should be credited with forcing National to at least increase the provision of paid parental leave to 18 weeks in the last budget.  National has shown itself to be adept at assimilating well presented opposition policies to minimise the adverse political effect it would suffer by opposing them.

Kudos to Sue Moroney however for raising this as an issue and putting an extraordinary amount of work and passion into the measure.  She has shown what an effective opposition Member of Parliament can achieve in an MMP environment.

9 comments on “Paid parental leave bill faces defeat”

  1. Tracey 1

    is dunne voting for the bill?

  2. paddy 2

    This is an issue that needs to be put in front of the people. Why are Labour so quiet? Hardly a cheep of protest in the media.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Is that how you think the media works ? labour Mps ring them up and blast them and they get it on the front page ?
      Now adding a free newspaper subscription to any paid parental leave, that would make it front page news

  3. Skinny 3

    Another dead duck policy that National took the wind out of Labour’s sail. The stat’s were there to say most women were not using up the alocated paid parental leave as it stood. National reacted by increasing it as to what was deemed affordable. The policy of Labours then looked gold plated. Moroney looked stupid quoting shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. Time for her to go she has not delivered for the party and needs to give someone else the winnable Hamilton West seat.

    • Ed 3.1

      I can’t recall National making any change – is this another case of someone thinking that a few comments from Key represent a decision made and implemented, and in any event the Bill must represent a change from whatever the current position is. So what did National increase parental leave to, Skinny?

      It may be less relevant under the current parliament, but I thought No Right Turn had shown that the financial veto had been done away with – is Parliament no longer paramount? How can a small bunch of MPs decide to over-ride a decision of the majority?

      • Skinny 3.1.1

        I thought they increased it sometime ago, meagerly by 2 weeks?

        Pretty much similar to poaching Labours Bill of cutting the drink-driving limit. A stupid policy that National will pin back to pressure from Labour if it turns custard when introduced this Xmas.

  4. A voter 4

    Suppose the advent of the WOODHOUSE effect on social legislation of late will be the prick that stops the bill

    What a pack of tight arsed corporate sponsored killers of a decent society we have in this govt
    The rock star economy All I GOT TO DO IS ACT NACTIONALLY

    Geeze Wayne the end of this tory shite cant come to soon

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