Paid parental leave veto confirmed

NZ Herald 11 April 2012
Finance Minister Bill English confirmed this afternoon that National will veto a bill to extend paid parental leave from 14 weeks to six months.

He said the Government would have to borrow more money to fund it just at a time when it was trying to reduce its deficit.

“We have maintained paid parental leave and we currently spend about $150 million [a year] on it,” he told reporters at Parliament.

“But we are still two or three years from getting out of the woods on the deficit so we think it is a bit soon to be trying to expand entitlements when our big challenge has been to maintain them as they are.”

Mr English said Labour specialised in trying to get political benefit without showing the real cost by saying it would take 10 years to implement.

“That’s just misleading the public. The fact is doubling it will cost another $150 million a year. You’d have to borrow half a billion over the next three or four years. We’re simply not willing to do that.”
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10798133