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Chris Ford: The Nats can't afford paid parental leave? But they can afford to pay for a bail out or two!

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Chris Ford
Chris Ford

 The Nats can't afford paid parental leave? But they can afford to bail out some corporates, not a problem!

I find it the height of hypocrisy as to why Bill English didn't wield his fiscal veto over the $1 billion bail out to South Canterbury Finance? Why didn't he veto John Key's $15 million grant to help build Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium? The millions of dollars that went into 'The Cloud' party shed on Queen's Wharf for the Rugby World Cup?The billions of dollars in tax cuts given to the wealthy? The millions that government departments are spending on consultants.

I support Sue Moroney's legislation to extend the Alliance Party's (and Laila Harre's) greatest legacy to New Zealand - paid parental leave. Even in these deficit driven times (and National is deliberately running a structural deficit), we can afford to do something that will produce immense economic and social benefits down the line. $300 million to extend paid parental leave for working parents - and over three years - isn't much to ask - but it is for this government!

Paid parental leave is a very popular entitlement - and one we need to shore up in order to catch up to our OECD counterparts. Even the Australian Liberal-National Coalition is proposing to up the Australian entitlement if they win next year's federal election. That's why National should take a leaf out of Tony Abbott's book (and Australia is currently running a fiscal deficit too don't forget) and do the same!

When even the government's support parties such as United Future and the Maori Party are preparing to endorse such a move, National and ACT are at risk of looking politically ridiculous!

Let's keep up the pressure on the Nats to make a positive u-turn for a change! Tell them to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks. 

And by the way, I know that in Sue Moroney, the Alliance's greatest legacy is in good, safe hands!

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