Peter Dunne has received more attention and publicity this term due to having an often crucual vote in Parliament, but he has also been active in promoting United Future positions on policies. This is sometimes putting Dunne at odds with his National coalition partner.
Sue Maroney’s Paid Parental Leave bill is getting attention as Bill English repeats his intention to veto the bill – it may get enough support in Parliament due to Dunne’s vote.
English’s estimate of the cost of the proposal to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks (from 14) has been questioned by Maroney, suggesting it is grossly overstated. Dunne has joined the criticism:
The Government’s own support partner, UnitedFuture, is also calling on the Government to reconsider using the veto.
Leader Peter Dunne said he could not explain the discrepancy of Mr English’s estimate. “But it’s a pretty massive one.”
But the Government isn’t interested in diverting money there. It’s a Labour Party bill and Finance Minister Bill English has committed to blocking it using a rarely-used financial veto.
But United Future MP Peter Dunne is not happy about it.
“To announce the veto prior to the bill actually proceeding through Parliament is I think premature and wrong.”
There seems to be a degree of dismissive arrogance from English on this, pre-empting good political process.
Ms Moroney said the ministry’s figure was likely to come down further because its costings had not taken into account that the bill would come into effect in the month of April, not the start of the financial year, and there would be reduced use of early childcare centres, which would cut government subsidy costs.
It was up to the select committee to establish the real cost, she said.
The bill should at least get the chance to be properly examined and costed by select committee.
See also: Government must recalculate Paid Parental Leave veto (Sue Moroney)
Another news report:
A key Government ally is urging the Finance Minister to rethink his position on paid parental leave.
It follows new financial advice that extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks would cost around $150 million a year, not around half a billion the Government had previously claimed.
United Future MP Peter Dunne, who supports the bill, says it’s interesting the cost has now come down by almost two thirds.
“I think that will, and should cause some reconsideration of whether the veto is applied. My view has always been that to announce the veto prior to the bill actually proceeding through to parliament is, I think, premature and wrong.”