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Parental leave veto upsets Labour and Greens

Thursday 12 Apr 2012 6:01a.m.

Parental leave veto upsets Labour and Greens
Accusations of arrogance are being lobbied at the government over the move to veto Labour's bill to extend paid parental leave from 14 weeks to six months.

Acting Prime Minister Bill English said yesterday the government would use its financial veto to kill the bill, even if it has majority support in parliament.

He says it would cost $150 million a year, which would have to be borrowed, and the government is not prepared to do that.

MP Sue Moroney, who drafted the bill, says it has not even had its first reading and Mr English is going to veto it.

"This highlights the government's arrogance towards the parliamentary process," Ms Moroney said.

"It's desperate stuff, it highlights National's disdain for working parents and its fragile majority."

Ms Moroney says minor parties back her bill and she has 61 votes behind it - although that has not been tested in parliament.

If that level of support held up, she would have 61 votes against 60 from National and ACT.

The government can veto any bill that would have a significant impact on its finances, even if legislation has majority support in parliament.

The Greens say the government is showing it doesn't care about mothers and babies.

NZN

 
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