English firm on vetoing bill

NZ Herald 18 Oct 2012
Finance Minister Bill English will not budge on his plan to veto a bill extending paid parental leave from 14 weeks to six months, even if the estimated costings are less than first calculated, he said last night. “This is a desirable policy but it’s not our top priority,” he said. Mr English said he was not prepared to borrow more to fund it when the Government had already borrowed to increase Working for Families by 5 per cent on April 1 this year in a cost-of-living adjustment. The top priority for families had been maintaining income support and increasing early childhood education. “Any extra spending we incur now is funded by debt and so we have to be very clear about those priorities if we are going to incur more debt.”