“..Labour wants a meeting with Acting Prime Minister Bill English after he defended the Government’s right to veto legislation that would increase paid parental leave to six months.
Debate on the issue was sparked after Labour MP Sue Moroney’s member’s bill was drawn from the ballot before Easter.
Her bill would increase paid parental leave entitlements from the current 14 weeks to 26 by 2014.
Last week, Mr English announced that the Government would veto the legislation once it made it to the House.
On TVNZ’s Q+A programme yesterday morning, he said he agreed with the idea of paid parental leave but said increasing it was simply unaffordable.
“The reason for the veto is just the matter of prudent management and orderly government.”
However, there would still be a conversation about the issue and the Government welcomed that, Mr English said.
Labour leader David Shearer has seized on that and last night issued an open letter in which he invited Mr English to sit down and discuss the matter before the bill reached Parliament.
“It’s important that we move beyond partisan bickering over this important issue and seek ways to advance assistance for families in these tough economic times,” the letter said.
“A majority of parties in the House are voicing their support for an extension to paid parental leave and therefore most parties would welcome the opportunity to have the discussion.”..”
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