Hard hearted Bill vetos parental leave bill vetoed

Bill English has followed through with threats to veto the Paid Parental Leave Bill that would have increased paid parental leave from the current 18 weeks to 26 weeks.

The bill was supported by a majority in Parliament, the Bill was not.

I’m disappointed by this. The Paid Parental Leave Bill was introduced to Parliament via the Members’ ballot and passed through all it’s stages under our democratic process, but was discarded by English under his power of ‘certificate of financial veto’.

There would have been a cost with a fiscal impact but not a significant one in the whole scheme of things.

There is overwhelming evidence that the first months and years of a child’s life are of fundamental importance to their well being, so if any stage of their lives deserves Government support it is the first six months.

It is also important that mothers in particular (and fathers as well) are supported during the most difficult, the most time consuming and the most important stage of parenthood.

Yes there would have been an added cost but the benefits are likely to have paid this back.

This makes English look petty, penny pinching and mean. Ditto the National Party.

Labour, the Greens, the Maori Party, NZ First and UnitedFuture all supported the bill.

Labour MP Sue Moroney introduced and strongly promoted the bill:

…said she was “frustrated and disappointed” by the veto.

“It’s a difficult thing to command parliamentary majority from opposition…and it’s the right thing to do.

Peter Dunne…

… said the veto was “unfortunate”, given the Government’s previous claims about its focus on children.

“I think it’s a delicious irony in that yesterday [the] Government was saying that putting children at the centre of policy was a priority – today they ban a bill on paid parental leave.”

Labour leader Andrew Little…

…said it was “deeply disappointing”.

Parliament clearly supports it … the Government does have the right of veto and in the end they’ll be accountable to New Zealander’s for that”.

Spokeswoman for the coalition 26 for Babies…

…said the “unaffordability” argument didn’t stack up.

“This decision is about this Governments priorities,” Rebecca Matthews-Heron said.

It is hard work to get a sensible Opposition bill with majority support for it. It is hard work being a parent, particularly in the first 6 months of a child’s life.

It was easy for English to veto this bill, but it was hard nosed, hard hearted and contrary to Government claims about putting a priority on early childhood.

Leave a comment

38 Comments

  1. Anyone can support a bill which will buy them votes at someone else’s cost. Just what is it about Kiwis that we expect Government of whatever hue to be the answer and provider of all our needs? Whatever happened to taking responsibility for self? It fascinates me that the same people supporting this bill are the same purple who would also expect solo mums to stop at one or receive not a cent more.
    The real issue is where do we draw the line – because it must be drawn.

    Reply
    • Yes, and in drawing the line we need to remember, it is not the Government’s money, its our taxes and the profits accruing from taxpayer funded assets and enterprises which is being used. The line drawn must consider the amount of taxpayers money it needs, and decide where the priorities lie.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  17th June 2016

      The line will never be drawn. Too many New Zealanders have a mindset of entitlement using other peoples money. If they want to breed- fine. Just don’t expect others to pay for it.
      They already pay enough for peoples breeding programmes. I’m include solo mums in this equation.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  17th June 2016

        I think that some people still don’t understand that the government has no money at all-it’s our money, come from taxes. If these people are happy to pay for this extra 8 weeks, then they’re welcome to. Just don’t expect the rest of us to.

        Peter Dunne’s dreaming if he thinks that it will go up to 52 weeks, unless everyone else’s taxes go up to pay for it.

        I believe that anyone who takes the money and then doesn’t go back to work should have to pay it back. I fail to see why people who are on small incomes should be taxed to give a nice bonus to someone else who’s using the parental leave payments as a nest egg.

        Reply
  2. lurcher1948

     /  17th June 2016

    This might come back to bite national on the bum.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  17th June 2016

      Yeah, because National voters care whether it’s 18 or 26 weeks.

      Reply
      • Yeah sometimes things are more important than what National voters care about.

        Otherwise it will be too late for National to care about ex-voters.

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  17th June 2016

          The point is, they recognize a stunt when the see one.

          Perhaps secondary to that, is that they recognize that everything Labour does is a stunt, so why wouldn’t this be as well.

          I have no idea if this was in the Labour manifesto, but if it was, that would make them quite likely to vote against it as well.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  17th June 2016

            It is to National’s advantage to have the populace think that everything Labour does is a stunt. When everyone has been brainwashed to that level, trifling stuff like it being to everyone’s advantage for the babies of the nation to have the best possible start can be ignored.

            It is to National’s disadvantage to have people thinking that Labour actually sought to do something constructive and which was widely acceptable across the political spectrum.

            It is to National’s advantage to quote the cost the bill would have incurred. It is to National’s advantage to give Teina Pora what they have offered. What they can get away with. (In that case if they double the offer people would then speak of their generosity, their listening to the people, their humanity.)

            It is to National’s advantage to give tax cuts closer to the election. The less than 300 million the Moroney bill (over four years) and Teina Pora would have cost would be not be great relative to billions in tax cuts.

            Pete George uses “petty, penny pinching and mean, hard nosed and hard hearted.” When you play tennis and it’s deuce, advantage, deuce, advantage, those are the qualities you have to have to serve out the match.

            It’s just a game and they are serving.

            Reply
            • Iceberg

               /  17th June 2016

              “It is to National’s advantage to have the populace think that everything Labour does is a stunt”

              No doubt about it, But it’s not National doing that damage. That’s tiotally self inflicted.

              “trifling stuff like it being to everyone’s advantage for the babies of the nation to have the best possible start can be ignored”

              Emotive nonsense. Roughly 60,000 are born each year, roughly one third of those parents take advantage of paid parental leave.

              Why not put up something sensible (as Seymour did) and suggest that its provided to those that actually need it? Like those born with special needs, for example.

              “petty, penny pinching and mean, hard nosed and hard hearted”

              Do you live under a rock?

              Broad brush welfare for all is a stunt.

            • duperez

               /  17th June 2016

              Broad brush welfare for all is a stunt. Like broad brush dismissal of everything another political party comes up with. Like broad brush tax cuts?

              What you say in your paragraphs two and three and ending that with “emotive nonsense” maybe suggests that expecting rationality is pointless. Because only a third of parents of young ones use paid parental leave the system shouldn’t be improved?

              They know all the stuff about the importance of the first years of kids’ lives, (not just the special needs ones) and they have the data that speaks to the long term massive costs of early childhood disadvantage.

              I don’t get why repeating why the words Pete George used to describe Bill English elicits a question about ‘living under a rock.’

              PG was very generous. I would have said English is playing short term, short-sighted, scummy politics.

            • Iceberg

               /  17th June 2016

              “Like broad brush dismissal of everything another political party comes up with”

              As I’ve said, they did that to themselves. What policies have they not backed away from? Which ones have they actually voted against? They’re a joke party.

              English made it clear in 2013 he would financially veto this. As an aside, PG suggested back then (via kiwiblog) that it may in fact lose the election for National based on a Colmar poll.

              Labour continuing the charade for another 3 years is a publicity stunt. National did increase paid parental leave to 18 weeks.

              “they have the data that speaks to the long term massive costs of early childhood disadvantage”

              Take away paid parental leave altogether and you will still have this, because the early childhood disadvantage is being delivered to kids born into benefits, not from working parents.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  17th June 2016

            If people want to spend time with the new baby, they should put off having it until they can afford it and not expect the rest of us to pay for them to do so.

            Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  17th June 2016

    Its all right when the right(Bill English) does it.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  17th June 2016

      Does what, exactly? Does what he says he was going to do, right from the outset?

      Reply
  4. #NatGov – Bullets over babies

    Reply
  5. Parents and leftists bleating for an extra 8 weeks of parental leave should remember that it is the WHOLE of society on whom all costs for social experiments falls, and that many taxpayers believe accountability to be lacking for the billions we already confer. I’d say that the best parent is a responsible parent, and that means planning families to suit one’s circumstances. The money for grandiose gestures has to come from somewhere. Why oh why can the left never offer any idea that’s about increasing productivity that doesn’t involve taxation.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  17th June 2016

      Does the whole of society meet the costs of social ills many of which are rooted in childhood?

      Is there knowledge of who the failures are at school and where those disadvantages start?

      It’s bizarre that people like English’s colleague Parata keep talking about the importance of research and data, know from that the importance of the early years, yet don’t do all they can to obviate the likelihood of future long term, costly problems.

      It’s no good planting a tree and then watering it five years down the track. It will never get to be the tree it could have been.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  17th June 2016

        “It’s no good planting a tree and then watering it five years down the track ”

        That’s the point. If you can’t water a tree, don’t plant it. I don’t want to spend my money watering it. There is a choice here, unlike other uses my tax dollar goes on.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  17th June 2016

          So you don’t think that you’re obliged to water someone else’s tree ?

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  18th June 2016

            Of course not. In a sane society the only compulsion applied would be to those who threaten individual rights, or moral and legal responsibilities expected of the state.

            Reply
      • “Costs of social ills many of which are rooted in childhood?” Yes many social ills are rooted in childhood situations BUT that is down to bad parenting not whether their is an extra x weeks paid parental leave

        Money is not a magic salve that will instantly banish crap parenting. The left may think that, but where has that worked? Bad parenting, producing maladjusted kids happens in all strata of society – evidence front page of the papers today: self entitled shit hits a female cop. Little brats parents are so wealthy they are on the rich list.

        Bottom line on this issue – its not National policy, National got the votes to form a government and they have set a budget which was passed by the parliament. English is investing the cash Moroney and Dunne want to go to anyone who wants a few more weeks of paid parental leave in other more targeted initiatives which will do more for the address “costs of social ills many of which are rooted in childhood”

        Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  17th June 2016

    More proof that this Govt. cares nothing, for average kiwi families.. its all about : money, money, MONEY & how they & their rich mates, can get their hands on it !

    They get shitty, when the opposition vote against their bills.. BUT they then do this; against the MAJORITY of votes in parliament : 61 fore – 60 against.. so much for DEMOCRACY.
    This is called Fascism ! 😦

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  17th June 2016

      This is drivel. May I suggest that you go to the library and borrow a book about Fascism ?

      Of course governments need to be concerned with money. How do you think that schools, roads and hospitals are paid for ?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  18th June 2016

        Kitty, Zedd sucker punched you. He was trolling, looking to liven things up. For pete’s sake look at his face…. of course he wants to liven things up.

        Reply
  7. Iceberg

     /  17th June 2016

    Hey Zedd, think you’ll find it’s “average kiwi families” voting for the “fascists” . If you want know why, go no further than reading your own post. Its representative of the moronic drivel coming from the alternative.

    Reply
  8. lurcher1948

     /  17th June 2016

    Great effort but you Key PONYTAIL BOY/max lovers have nothing on this nasty ALLWAYS piece of miserable shit from KIWIBLOG.This sad thing has never posted anything with a bit of joy in its posts
    igm (2,349 comments) says:
    June 17th, 2016 at 2:01 pm
    It is not taxpayers’ responsibility to fund the breeding preferences of what will become, in time, unemployable child-bearing age women. This “Moron” ey, who can’t win a safe seat (like her leader), is going to, in time, stop employers entertaining the employment of women per se’.
    he must have a great ulcer

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  17th June 2016

      Mr P George your blog is a beacon of moderation as when you post on Mr Farrars blog the hate radiates from the screen to you,god it makes you feel good that some there on his blog cannot obtain AK47s and go out to sort out the car people in south auckland but then they are keyboard whimps

      Reply
  9. Kitty Catkin

     /  17th June 2016

    I haven’t heard many people generally suggesting that it might be a nice idea to give those who are trying to live on $210 a week, out of which has to come frequent doctor’s visits and prescriptions, a little extra. It’s poor fun living in a house that one can’t afford to heat in winter and having ‘hot’ water that’s barely tepid.

    Reply
  10. In the final outcome, the question is whether or not National’s stance on the chid birth leave entitlements, the limitation of the refugee numbers, and the probably less than 1% expenditure on Defence until 2020, thereby permitting much higher than normal expenditure for Health, Education, Social Welfare for the period to 2020, (which will include some tax relief for all, will end up being an election loser. On balance, I think not, but given present alteration in our strategic outlook I wonder if reduced Defence expenditure is very risky. We live in very difficult times. Canadian Intelligence reports (they are a 5 Eyes Partner) are claiming that Russia is moving onto a war footing, and have an expectation of this being used by 2018.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2016

      Interesting. If Trump gets elected POTUS he’d take up office in January 2017. Would he be a threat to whatever moves the Russians may be planning? NATO was provoking Russia with manoeuvres in Poland just recently. But the Russian economy is a small one & will probably not be up to sustaining major military adventures. Wonder how reliable the Canadian Intel is?

      Reply

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