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National's veto is 'latest attack on mums and babies'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Government has sent a clear message to mothers and babies that it doesn't care about them by announcing it will veto a bill extending paid parental leave to six months, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

Finance Minister Bill English has announced National will veto a private member's bill that extends paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 6 months.

"The bill has the initial support of all parties except National and Act, meaning it had the majority of Parliament till National shunted it out the back door," Mrs Turei said.

"By vetoing the Bill they've made a clear statement that they do not care about the bonding process between a mother and a child or the importance of encouraging six months exclusive breastfeeding as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

"This is just following their now well-established pattern of attacking mothers and vulnerable children

"Extending paid parental leave gives parents the option to stay at home with their children longer, if they feel that's what is best for their children. It should be a parent's choice. But National clearly thinks it's theirs.

"National has already made it clear it wants to take solo mothers away from their children when they're still babies, through the work testing provisions in its Welfare Bill.

"Now it is actively standing in the way of working mums choosing to spend more time at home bonding with and breastfeeding their children.

"It's also anti-democratic for the Government to decide to veto legislation that is backed by the majority of our elected Parliament."

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