Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Paid Parental Leave

Media Release
Tuesday, April 10, 2012


At a time when the government is struggling to get the country's borrowing under control New Zealand cannot afford to spend more on extending Paid Parental Leave (PPL).

Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell said today that Labour MP Sue Moroney's private member's bill to extend PPL from 14 weeks to 6 months should be rejected by National and its support parties.

"Since PPL was introduced in 2002 the uptake has exceeded predictions. Like any welfare benefit, once introduced, they become difficult to control. Spending on PPL increased 175 percent between 2003 and 2010 yet the number of babies born increased by only 14 percent. (In the past five years the figures have been respectively 60 percent and 7.9 percent.)"

"In economic defence of her bill, Moroney argues that it will create employment as 'employers engage staff to replace those on PPL.' On that basis it would be equally valid to claim the bill will reduce employment when employers shed staff as those on PPL return to the workforce. In reality PPL is a hiatus from the workforce paid for by the taxpayer. It is a cost to the economy."

"If this bill is passed it will cost a minimum of $300 million by 2014, double what it is now. However, it is likely to be significantly more based on experience to date."

Did a couple of interviews on the back of this with Larry Williams, NewstalkZB (crosses over these two links ) - and Andrew Urqhart at Radio Rhema. I don't know what the listenership is on Rhema but I always enjoy my interviews there, with more time to develop a thought, or talk more extensively around a point the interviewer is making.


homepaddock said...
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homepaddock said...

What's the justification for making the cost of having children a public responsbility even in better economic times?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

HP, I made that point in both interviews. This shouldn't be an argument about the merits of bonding and breastfeeding but about who should pay for them and how long. Every time government assumes what should be parental responsibility it undermines the cohesive, mutually supporting family unit.

But that's 'creep' for you. In 2001 that was the debate, with Laila Harre and the Alliance campaigning for the introduction of PPL. Now it'll be sucessive arguments for more PPL. If this succeeds, in a couple of years they'll want 12 months. Like rust, the Left.

JC said...

To this old socialist Moroney's proposal makes sound economic sense.

Give mothers their 26 weeks, remove WFF completely, and pay the WFF "tax credit" to the employers of the mothers.

There, everybody's happy.


Anonymous said...

and the costs are only a part of problem with this...