Fairness and choice for families

Wednesday 25 July 2012, 1:40PM
By Labour Party

Legislation aimed at easing the pressure on working parents will come before Parliament tonight with the first reading of the Paid Parental Leave Bill.

Labour’s spokesperson for Women’s Affairs Sue Moroney says the Bill, which seeks to align New Zealanders paid parental leave (PPL) entitlements with other OECD countries, is about being fair to our families and prioritising the early years of our children’s development.

“Labour understands the importance of being thrifty with taxpayer money which is why the Bill reflects the constraints of our current fiscal environment by staggering the increase of paid parental leave to 26 weeks over three years.

“We want to get the best minds together on the issue at select committee to we can ensure the move is affordable. It is about reprioritising existing spending to invest in New Zealand’s future at the time when the government plans to be back in surplus.

“I am expecting a robust debate tonight and a thorough investigation of the costings at select committee,” Sue Moroney said.

She says the Bill has the support of MPs across most political parties and is seen as being fair to families.

"Labour understands the pressures on working families. Parents should have the choice to stay home with their children. Having a parent at home in those early years is a wise investment in their future health and wellbeing.

“We have one of the lowest rates of paid parental leave in the OECD. My Bill will bring New Zealand into line with the rest of the developed world and give them more options for raising their children.

“It is timely, it is necessary and it is affordable. I look forward to commending it to the House,” Sue Moroney said.