How would Labour pay for paid parental leave?

April 12th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

In his “big” speech, David Shearer said:

Any government I lead is going to be thrifty.

New Zealanders can trust to manage the books.

So the question has to be asked. How would Labour find $150 million a year to fund their bill to increase ? Will they just borrow it?

It will be very tough to get back into surplus, as National is aiming to do. But we simply can not afford to keep running deficits, as the interest on the extra debt actually makes less money available for health, education and yes even paid parental leave. We need to live within our means.

So how does an extra $150 million a year fit into Shearer’s pledge to be thrifty? Will he borrow to pay for it, or hike taxes to pay for it?

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102 Responses to “How would Labour pay for paid parental leave?”

  1. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    Maybe it would stack up in a year. Have pro PPL people helped condemn it but pushing it now? The instant answer MS and social medias made Paid Parental Leave a big issue in a slow news week.

    Did this hand National the NO option on a plate?

    By the third reading, probably next year, the economic outlook may be looking much better. Starting to nervously eye the 2014 election and with less justification to be miserly National may have found it very difficult to stand in the way of the PPL.

    But it’s been easy for Bill English to commit to a NO now.

    http://yournz.org/2012/04/12/have-pro-ppl-people-helped-condemn-it/

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  2. peteremcc (316 comments) says:

    Eat the rich.

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  3. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    The Dominion editorial thinks it’s worth paying for.

    Parental-leave bill worth nurturing

    It is a cost society should bear. This financial year the Government will spend almost $100 billion on taxpayers’ behalf. Large sums will be transferred to students borrowing more than they need, fit and healthy superannuitants holding down fulltime jobs and well-off families.

    All fall into Finance Minister Bill English’s “nice to have” category. It is nice that some superannuitants can stash away a little extra before they retire, nice that former students do not have to pay interest on their loans if they remain in the country and nice that big, middle-class families have a little more to spend thanks to the Working for Families scheme.

    But none of that expenditure has as much potential to improve lives as extending the time mothers have to spend with their babies before they are forced back into the workforce by financial necessity. Nor does it have as much potential to make a difference to society as a whole.

    I think most people, especially women, will argue that extending PPL to six months is worth the cost, a good investment.

    Just because things are tight now doesn’t mean it should be canned completely. Why shouldn’t the bill proceed, and simply time it’s phasing in for when the country can better afford it?

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  4. mikenmild (12,564 comments) says:

    $150 million per year is not actually a huge sum when the government is borrowing about $200 million per week. I agree it is not desirable to continually add costs, but any initiative needs to be placed in context. I see, for example, that Bill English is proposing to save $1 billlion over the next three years in the public service.

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  5. wreck1080 (4,004 comments) says:

    Labour have stated they will increase income tax on high income earners.

    There is also labours capital gains tax.

    And, labour will increase the pension age.

    Plenty of ways to balance the books.

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  6. tvb (4,567 comments) says:

    The revenue increases announced by the Labour Party have been spent many times over. Indeed they spent the money BEFORE announcing tax changes that fell well short of the funding required. The Labour Party have also not done any analysis on the employment implications for women of child birthing age. That Party is just stupid as they try and chase votes from the feckless.

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  7. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    How would Labour find $150 million a year to fund their bill to increase paid parental leave?

    Same way National is finding $130 million to fund Paula Bennett’s welfare reforms?

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  8. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Simple answer:
    They (and United Future) don’t care. It’s a populist policy designed to win votes.

    The money will be extracted from the taxpayer – that’s where all the money that the government spends comes from.

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  9. swan (665 comments) says:

    @ Pete George 7:11AM,

    So which of those other, less worthy entitlements will UF insist on being trimmed back to pay for PPL. Heck I would support swapping interest free student loans for an equivalent rise in PPL (obviously first-best is just to get rid of interest free student loans).

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  10. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    “$150 million per year is not actually a huge sum…” Whaaaat?

    At a time when we are borrowing massive amounts to remain afloat and to keep handing out financial lollies in the form of benefits, it’s appalling that the lefties claim that this extra spend is somehow affordable.

    In fact, the term ‘fiscal responsibility’ and the left are total strangers – their answer to everything is to just tax more and more from the revenue and wealth generators of the land in order that they can continue to try and bribe the electorate.

    And yet they would have us believe that they are fit to govern….. Pffttt…

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  11. eszett (2,451 comments) says:

    In fact, the term ‘fiscal responsibility’ and the left are total strangers – their answer to everything is to just tax more and more from the revenue and wealth generators of the land in order that they can continue to try and bribe the electorate.

    Yes, dropping the top tax rate has done wonders for fiscal responsibility.

    The rights answer to everything always seems to be drop taxes for the rich and fuck the rest.

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  12. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,495 comments) says:

    mikenmild “It’s only $150m”…. thats where you are getting it wrong. Labour said the same about Student Loans, buying back railways and a whole host of other reckless policies…. it all adds up!

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  13. eszett (2,451 comments) says:

    In fact, the term ‘fiscal responsibility’ and the left are total strangers – their answer to everything is to just tax more and more from the revenue and wealth generators of the land in order that they can continue to try and bribe the electorate.

    Yes, dropping the top tax rate was so very fiscally responsible.

    The rights answer to everything seems to be cut the taxes on the rich and fuck the rest.
    More wealth to the wealthy, that’s certainly a sure bet for “wealth generators”.

    …..Pfftttt…..

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  14. m@tt (638 comments) says:

    Why bother debating it? National say that even if it gets majority support they’ll scupper it so aren’t you wasting your bytes?

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  15. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    As for the “it’s only a $150 million”

    In 1973-74, the DPB was made an entitlement.
    There were around 9,000 sole parents on emergency benefits and the relevant Minister estimated it would only cost around an extra one million dollars (additional to the existing $11 million) if the emergency benefit had entitlement rather than discretionary status conferred upon it.

    September quarter 2011 figures show DPB numbers standing at 114,147.
    In terms of children around 185,000 rely on this benefit.
    In terms of cost, the average weekly DPB payment is around $513.00 so the cost tops now around $3 billion.

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  16. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    Labour has come up with some lunatic policies but this is not one of them. It will appeal to a fairly wide group of people and the absolute cost is not huge. I agree totally that we cant afford more spending but in the context of re prioritising spending this could find some traction in terms of support.

    In the context of finding the money raising the retirement age to 67 might just about cover it and the only person who doesn’t see that move as inevitable is John Key.

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  17. Fletch (6,541 comments) says:

    It’s just their job to speak against anything National does.
    Doesn’t mean they have a plan at all (par for the course)…

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  18. homepaddock (408 comments) says:

    The benefits of more time off are obvious, it’s whether the taxpayer should pay for it which is debatable.

    The Dom Post editorial pre-supposes people wouldn’t take more leave if it wasn’t paid. Employers who want their staff to return to work already supplement and extend PPL.

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  19. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    Heard Sue Moron whining on the radio just before re the veto, she clearly didn’t like losing. Good stuff! Haven’t heard her speak before, wasn’t at all surprised to hear that same hate-filled twang of ignorance as Sue Bradford.

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  20. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    @tristanb

    Simple answer:
    They (and United Future) don’t care. It’s a populist policy designed to win votes.

    You could call any party policy (including National’s) populist and designed to win votes. And all parties have policies that cost money.

    And lumping United Future with Labour is unfair. United Future cared enough to state a position prior to the last election that ruled out a coalition with Labour due to Labour’s tax and spending policies.

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  21. mikenmild (12,564 comments) says:

    That’s a fair point homepaddock. Good employers invest in such things. Where the balance should be between the employer taxpayer and employee is the question. That balance obviously shifts over time. It wasn’t too long ago that some people were arguing against unpaid parental leave entitlements, on the same basis as some now argue against paid parental leave.

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  22. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    if english/nats think their veto will close this down..think again…

    ..and when you are borrowing $200 million per week for tax cuts for the richest…

    ..and when you have paid out $1.8 billion to the tory-elites who looted south canterbury finance..

    ..a claim ‘we can’t afford it!’..not only looks cheap-bullshit..it also looks nasty…

    ..why is it ok for the cronies to get $1.8 billion..(profits also paid by the rest of us..)..from s.c.f…

    ..but the acknowledged ‘good-work/outcomes that $150 million will guarantee..

    ..and the fact we lag behind the rest of the world so much…

    ..means key/english/nact have bought themselves a whirlwind of grief/splashback…

    ..this will be confirmed by them when the polls tank..

    ..we can all see it is just a matter of priorities for this govt..

    ..and for them..cronies come first..

    ..and the rest of us can just go rot..

    ..we can all see that..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  23. flipper (4,342 comments) says:

    Increase taxes…… Just dumb. Do that and employment will drop, ergo increased unemployment benefit costs. More borrowing?

    The reality is that most people pay little or no tax (many, in fact, receive “tax” credits).
    Some 70% of all tax is paid by just 10% of all households, while those earning more than $120,000 pa pay 97 % of the total tax paid. (Source: Markhams, Chartered Accountants)

    I don’t care what the “DimionPost” says. They are plain silly.

    If Australia wants to meet that (PPL) cost – or more – that is their problem. Let us encourage all parents who would take advantage of the handout (and that is what it is!) to emigrate to Aust.
    Not even the economic illiterate Obama would have the nerve to try PPL in the US.

    Time to faced facts

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  24. Nick R (522 comments) says:

    Labour will increase taxes regardless – they have promised to increase income taxes for high income earners, and won’t be cutting GST. There’s also the capital gains tax.

    But I reckon this could probably be funded from within existing budgets without increasing taxes if the Govt wanted to do it. As Danyl points out, the Govt clearly reckons it can find savings in that order to pay for other things it wants to do.

    So I don’t think this is about money at all. Really, it’s just politics – the Govt can’t allow Labour to get the credit for initiating a popular reform, so it will kill it, regardless of the merits. It will be criticized for that, but it reckons that is better than the alternative.

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  25. capitald (68 comments) says:

    My wife went back to work this week after being of maternity leave. Our son is now three and a half months. I would much prefer that someone who has paid a lot of taxes over the years could stay home and exclusively breastfeed for six months.

    How to pay for it? Well, the woman in the unit next door has been on a benefit all her life, has two kids and gets to stay home – and she doesn’t work. I am happy to fund PPL by cuts to the DPB.

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  26. Brian Smaller (3,966 comments) says:

    Labour and their fellow travellers will just ask the money fairy to pluck the money from the money tree that is at the bottom of the garden.

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  27. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @capitald

    “Well, the woman in the unit next door has been on a benefit all her life, has two kids and gets to stay home – and she doesn’t work.”

    But think of the little childwen capitald.
    Your taxes that pay for this are ‘an investment for the future’.
    It is all for ‘the common good’.
    Don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

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  28. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    “United Future cared enough to state a position prior to the last election that ruled out a coalition with Labour due to Labour’s tax and spending policies.”

    A tough call given where Liebour was polling.

    PG

    Still waiting for you to wrap your banalties on point with some hard facts and meaningful numbers. What is the social cost of not having this policy at the margin? How much will it save elswhere? What is the return on this “investment”?

    It isn’t enough to say: “I think most women would want this… blah blah blah” or “I’m relaxed”. So what? Have you spoken to “most women”. If you asked the resident lying welfare bludger if he wanted to stay on the bludge for the rest of his life, you know his answer would be: “yes”. So what? Its easy to be relaxed about spending someone else’s money.

    So far, all we’ve seen from you and the person you seem desperate to have as your next boss is unsubstantiated piffle. You’re even starting to sound as vaccuous as he does when confronted with or peddling an issue.

    In this context the ills of our society are found at the margins; not across the entirety of its breadth. What on earth is the point in giving away more than is actually required to address the issues at the margin? Why not just give everyone 10 weeks holiday a year as well?

    Sure, mothers would like it. Why wouldn’t they? That isn’t to say that they NEED it, or that this pork barrel initiative is actually going to achieve anything at the margin for society other than perpetuate the notion that you don’t need to look after yourself and think about the consequences of your decisions. We need to stop that rot, not perpetuate it.

    This will do nothing to help kids. You should be embarassed to be peddling this piffle.

    At around the same time that you climb on board with this populist rubbish, the gummint is making it clear that it is targeting at-risk kids and is going to force integration of state resources across functional disciplines and skills to stop the present chronic failures of state agencies that are all too frequently highlighted in the aftermath of child murders and beatings.

    Against that background, you want to peddle lollies for all. How on earth do you expect to be taken seriously? Or is it no longer that, do you just want to get into Parliament, whatever the cost?

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  29. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    then there is the $189 million nact have spent on ‘consultants’..(read:..neo-lib-cronies..)..

    ..the money is there..

    ..it is just a matter of will..

    this one could well define/damn this government…if the opposition parties keep the heat on..

    ..and guess what..?

    ..every govt expenditure announced by english/nact from here on in..will be benchmarked/fact-checked back to this one…

    ..it’s gonna get uncomfortable…even more uncomfortable..

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  30. Brian Smaller (3,966 comments) says:

    @capitald – my wife went back to work 12 weeks after the birth of both our kids and they seem to have turned out OK. Found a good carer who is still part of their lives even though we live in a different city and they are teenagers. Paid parental leave is nothing more than middle class welfare. It is not needed.

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  31. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    WTF has this got to do with you leech?

    Stick to bludging off working solo mothers as you have done all your life.

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  32. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    to give some context to the comment from the person who (oxymoronically..eh..?..) calls themself ‘davinci’..

    ..he/she is from keys’ inner-circle…advising on media matters..as i understand it..(we have redbaiter to thank for that revelation..)

    .and as such..his/her words give you more than a hint of the mindset there..

    ..and how they speak/refer to the rest of us peasants/non-cronies…

    ..’mothers’ don’t need it’…eh..?..mr mouth-piece of key..?

    ..it’s amazing how much you can see/understand thru a small window…

    ..eh..?

    ..(and i guess he is being paid to troll under a fake-name..eh..?

    ..i wonder how many others of keys’ inner-circle troll-on-demand..?

    ..the mind boggles..!..eh..?

    ..i mean…’chuck’..!..is ‘chuck’ one of them..?..whoar..!..’fletch’..?..double-whoar..!..)

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  33. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    @thedavincimode – it’s one small bill for families, not a giant stomp on mankind.

    Still waiting for you to wrap your banalties on point with some hard facts and meaningful numbers. What is the social cost of not having this policy at the margin? How much will it save elswhere? What is the return on this “investment”?

    That’s for the parliamentary process to investigate and find out. It’s supposed to be what select committees do with bills that are presented to them. It’s far to premature to be jumping to conclusions as son as the bill has been drawn from the ballot, and far too soon to be promising a veto.

    Or do you think it shouldn’t go to parliament, and it should just fall over, because a few people on blogs say it should?

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  34. capitald (68 comments) says:

    Hi @Brian Smaller, very pleased to hear that. My wife works at a top law firm and really needed to get back to work. We are middle class at the moment. My mum has come up from Christchurch to look after bub. The two of them are doing well – shortly he is going to move into daycare.

    Good to hear from other parents that have been through the situation of going back to work around three months.

    David

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  35. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Philu south canterbury finance was made up of thousands of small investors in Christchurch. I can bet you a million dollars probably none of them were cronies in any sense of the word. Had the government no stepped in, thousands and thousands of people would have been completely wiped out. Imagine the consequences of that given the earthquake now. It was put in place by national but it was a labour idea. So go and get a job mate and stop with the silly comments.

    As to the welfare reforms, 130 million is pretty cheap given the dogs breakfast that is the welfare state. It will save much much more then that over time. It’s a travesty how Labour actually left hundreds of thousands of people to rot in the dark with a little bit of money for their vote.

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  36. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    My wife started full time work when our third child was three months old. She worked nights, I worked days, we were recovering from a business venture that had fallen over. We managed at the time but it was damned hard, and it’s likely that it played a part in eventual demise of the marriage.

    I don’t see why we shouldn’t consider helping families with new babies. I think parliament should give reasonable consideration to the proposed PPL extension.

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  37. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    “We managed at the time but it was damned hard”

    Oh Petey, why didn’t you say it was so hard at the outset. Don’t worry, the gummint will pay.

    BTW, did they catch the person that held a gun to your head and made you have a third child?

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  38. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    up and comer…originally that was the scf base..i agree..

    ..but…there was a total piling-in by the elites after nact came to power..

    ..and the committment/actual payout blew-out…(these are irrefutable-facts..)

    ..financial-advisers up and down the land were telling anyone with any spare cash to get some of that action..

    ..’cos not only was their investment guaranteed to be paid by the rest of new zealand…their profits were also guaranteed..

    ..for those that way inclined..it was a no-brainer..

    ..and the tory-elites troughed…(

    and they are now the ones moaning about ‘bludging’ new mothers…and the total canard of how ‘we can’t afford it..!’..

    ..and i still can’t get past the gobsmacking fact that the $1.8 billion payout to those greedy-elites..is more than has been paid in all treaty-settlements to date..

    ..and that many of that troughing tory-elite/1% would be those with a standard moan about ‘greedy-murries’…eh..?

    ..and if you are from southland..you will know that is a fact..eh..?

    ..the racism falls so easily from the tongue/lips down in those southern parts..eh..?

    ..phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  39. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    @thedavincimode
    You haven’t answered – do you think a bill put forward by a Member of Parliament and drawn in the ballot should or shouldn’t be given due consideration by Parliament?

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  40. capitald (68 comments) says:

    Hi @Pete George

    I’m with you at the moment. Sorry, but my wife should be at home, not at work right now. I’m seriously pissed off that the woman next door is at home on the DPB, yet my wife has to go to work to pay for her – but isn’t supported herself.

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  41. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    Signs that English’s stance is political, not based on research.

    New Zealand’s paid parental leave entitlements are among the lowest in the OECD and several studies, including by the prime minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, have shown the benefits of mothers spending extended time with their babies.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6727195/Backlash-follows-veto-on-parental-leave

    The prime minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, agreed that whether paid parental leave was better use of taxpayer money than other initiatives was a political, not a scientific, issue.

    “I don’t think anyone would debate that children will do better if mothers and children have longer to bond in general.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6719867/Veto-hangs-over-parental-leave-support

    Maybe the Minsiter of Finance could do with some advice from the Priime Minister’s science adviser.

    Most parents and children are resilient and will manage through difficult times and come out ok. But if they had a bit more help at one of the most important times the kids may end up doing better – and cost the state less.

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  42. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    DPF “So how does an extra $150 million a year fit into Shearer’s pledge to be thrifty? Will he borrow to pay for it, or hike taxes to pay for it?”

    Just a small point, are National not borrowing to keep the retirement age at 65 if you apply the same logic? Is it not an issue of prioritisation of government spending rather than borrowing to pay for a particular policy?

    as another example is the government subsidising Kiwisaver to the tune of $0.5b pa a better option than simply making it compulsory and removing the subsidies or is the government better to keep borrowing to subsidise Kiwisaver as it does now? It is about where you target your spending I guess. Whilst I am very supportive of the government cutting spending where possible this policy is one that should at least be considered.

    My kids are teenagers now but paid parental leave would have been a real help when they were infants.

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  43. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    capitald – comparisons like your’s are annoying a lot of ordinary New Zealanders, it doesn’t seem fair. National get quite a bit of support for trying to address beneficiary anomalies.

    But their stance on this PPL will probably lose some of that support.

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  44. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Oh FFS MUST every issue be the subject of dogmatic moral outrage?
    Why do these threads always turn into “Yes it is vital we MUST provide for the children” versus “No never you pay for your own gold-plated baby carriage, you bludgers”.

    I think 26 weeks PPL would be a good thing to do. That is all.

    I suggest we could offset the added costs by downgrading prison meals to tomato sauce sandwiches. If there must be taxes, use the money to help good people in their brief moment of need, not dirty pieces of sh!t.

    (On a side note has anyone worked out what the cost is of 21 hours’ early childhood care, compared to the cost of a week of PPL? Mum getting PPL to stay at home and raise her child isn’t going to need those 21 funded hours…)

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  45. swan (665 comments) says:

    “The prime minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, agreed that whether paid parental leave was better use of taxpayer money than other initiatives was a political, not a scientific, issue.

    “I don’t think anyone would debate that children will do better if mothers and children have longer to bond in general.””

    Pete George you are totally misinterpreting what Gluckman is saying. Of course it is great to have mothers spending more time with their infant children. What he means when he says political is – is it worth it vs the opportunity cost of doing something else with the money. When we are dealing with scarce resources, it is always a political issue.

    Gluckman is admirably giving impartial technical advice, and leaving policy advocacy to politicians. If only other so called researchers would do the same.

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  46. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > How would Labour find $150 million a year

    Firstly, you assume it’s going to cost that much. I didn’t realise the Select Committee had determined that.

    Second, the government is spending more than $180 million on consultants for the public sector, a large increase on the previous year. We can afford consultants but apparently not paid parental leave. It’s not clear why.

    Third, you seem to assume there will be zero benefits from paid parental leave. That seems a silly assumption to make.

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  47. emmess (1,398 comments) says:

    Interest that the Herald online poll showed that the policy is reasonably popular (~60%) and not a terrible policy in my view.
    But another Herald poll said that the government is right to veto it (also ~60%).

    People realise that it is none of the oppositions business to try and push through spending bills.
    Thats why we have elections.

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  48. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    By the way, how much revenue was foregone when tax rates for the well off were cut?

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  49. unaha-closp (1,067 comments) says:

    NZ has a pay-as-we-go method of funding superannuation, this will cause NZ to be utterly bankrupt in 20 years because our population is aging and living longer.

    The Greens have this policy to encourage more children being born. The Labour Party wants age of super entitlement to increase.

    The National Party believe being utterly bankrupt in 20 years is sound financial planning.

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  50. swan (665 comments) says:

    “The Greens have this policy to encourage more children being born. The Labour Party wants age of super entitlement to increase”

    The Greens want more humans? Doesnt sound very green to me.

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  51. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    PG

    If that’s the system, then yes.

    But that isn’t the point here is it. You’ve come out trumpeting the virutes of this pork barrel initiative without anything to substantiate it. You are now weaseling out of that predicament by raising the private member ballot issue which is a red herring.

    So go back to the real question. Why should we have an extension to PPL? Why not just give everyone a chocolate fish?

    You seemed very hot to trot in the last day or so in your advocacy for the extension; nothing to do with the balloting process.

    What was it that made you think this is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds in the first place as you embarked upon your little crusade. Is the fact that you found it tough with your third actually relevant? What about the people in this country who also found it tough in the preceding 170 years. You had the child. It was your choice. Is your third likely to turn into a terminally lazy lying welfare bludger all because you didn’t have extended parental leave?

    Are you blaming the failure of your marriage on the absence of state welfare? What about the marriages that fail because people enslave themselves to their businesses or jobs to try and get ahead? What do we do about them? Invite them to pay for someone to sit at home enjoying a luxury they don’t allow to themselves?

    Is it just possible that marriages fail because ultimately they were not ever going to survive sufficient external pressure. Is that the taxpayers problem?

    So I’ve answered Pete. Now its your turn, and start with my questions in the previous post. Or at least just admit you just think its a vote winner and you haven’t bothered to think it through.

    capitald

    Can you not see that the issue is about the woman next door? Why doesn that fact require other taxpayers to pay for you as well? Its your child. Your decision. Man up and stop whinging.

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  52. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    thedavincimode – it’s not a “little crusade”, and it’s got nothing to do with votes as far as I’m concerned. It’s been an interesting debating and learning exercise on a fairly minor issue. It’s been particularly interesting seeing reactions elsewhere from people who will normaly personally attack and argue against whatever I say.

    I think the PPL is something worth looking at further, to see if benefits might stack up against costs. But I won’t be permanently aggrieved if it doesn’t happen, I’m not ideologically attached to it, so I can live with whatever the outcome is.

    In any case if National follow through with a veto it may well become an election iissue the following year and actually come about the year after that anyway.

    I also understand the purpose of the veto and think that’s a necessary part of our democratic system, and the PPL is probably a valid veto candidate – but I think English risks losing support for how he’s gone about it, especially at this early stage before he knows what form the bill will end up in. National are already at risk of a perception of arrogance of power.

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  53. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    Fuck why don’t we all sit around home all day, let the brain dead liberal fucktards pay the bills, this shit makes me want to throw the towel in. These lefty fools would happily enslave us all to a future determined by the IMF and the commie fucks in the UN. Their is no free lunch. When my wife had our children she was working again in about two weeks, this country is turning into a fools paradise where reality belongs in another dimension and the grasshoppers play in the sun all day, it will end in tears.

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  54. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    PG

    Am I correct in summing up your present position (in contrast to previous comments made by you) as being supportive of the debate taking place without being supportive of the policy in the absence of answers to the sorts of questions I have been asking you?

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  55. backster (2,198 comments) says:

    Perhaps a I note that Greece and Ireland both have over 40 weeks paid parental leave, While Germany and the States have none. NZ is near the overall average of 19.http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/45/26/37864482.pdf……..Sweden the socialist paradise only 6

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  56. bc (1,396 comments) says:

    Come on people, lets get real – this is all about politics.
    The money could be found if the government wanted to by reprioritising. It need not be an additional cost.
    Alternatively there are various compromises that could be made to reduce the cost:
    – not introduce the increase in PPL until we are back in surplus, eg 2015
    – stagger the increase, eg increase PPL by one week each financial year
    – reduce the increase: instead of increasing PPL to 26 weeks have a lower amount of weeks (but still an increase), eg I think Australia have 18 weeks, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to have the same.
    NONE of these options will even be considered because it’s not about the cost, it’s about politics. There is no way the government will allow a “win” to Labour – absolutely no chance.

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  57. mikenmild (12,564 comments) says:

    I think you have it summed up nicely there, bc.

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  58. swan (665 comments) says:

    “I think you have it summed up nicely there, bc.”

    Agreed. bc has nicely summed up the worldview of the median voter. That is – money does grow on trees.

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  59. BeaB (2,166 comments) says:

    I am delighted Labour has such faith in National bringing us back into surplus by 2014. I hadn’t realised they were so confident about National’s economic competence.
    A great vote of support! Thank you Sue Moroney for the revelation.

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  60. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    thedavincimode, I’ll summarise.

    Yes, I’m supportive of the debate taking place – in the various medias and in parliament.

    My inclination is to support extending PPL to 26 weeks, but I haven’t seen strong evidence supporting, only general indications and comments that it could be. And it’s hardly a major, it’s what I think is a logical (excluding finacial considerations) extension of an existing allowance.

    I also haven’t seen strong evidence against it. Most of the anti stances seem to be ideological.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s got nothing to do with votes, I have no plans at this stage to stand for any election.

    I accept the current fiscal restraints and I accept the need for financial vetoes.

    I think National should be careful how they exercise any veto, there’s real risks of perceptions of arrogance and abuse of power.

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  61. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    “By the way, how much revenue was foregone when tax rates for the well off were cut?”

    The usual leftard meme: Increase taxes on the very people who generate revenue and create jobs and pass it off to the leftard voter base in the form of handouts and bribes. Quelle surprise.

    As flipper said (8.48am): “Some 70% of all tax is paid by just 10% of all households, while those earning more than $120,000 pa pay 97 % of the total tax paid. (Source: Markhams, Chartered Accountants).

    I wonder whether the leftards have considered what they would do if the same people who currently pay 97% of the tax decide that they don’t want to support the bludgers on society any more and they vote with their feet?

    [Gasp!]

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  62. bc (1,396 comments) says:

    What a stupid comment, swan. The “median voter” (whoever that is) is likely to be struggling through the recession, which would make them extremely aware that money doesn’t grow on trees. A lot more aware than many of the people with their dismissive attitudes here, I would imagine.
    And, as I said – this has NOTHING to do with money, but EVERYTHING to do with politics.

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  63. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    National may well have won the last election because middle New Zealand accepted that money “doesn’t grow on trees”.

    And, as I said – this has NOTHING to do with money, but EVERYTHING to do with politics.

    As Peter Gluckman keeps pointing out.

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  64. swan (665 comments) says:

    “And, as I said – this has NOTHING to do with money.”

    What does the first P in PPL stand for again bc?

    “As Peter Gluckman keeps pointing out.”

    Please stop blatantly misrepresenting Peter Gluckman Pete George.

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  65. bc (1,396 comments) says:

    If the government really wanted it swan, they could find the money without increasing expenditure – maybe a few less consultants for a start. But they don’t want to even consider any options or compromises. Thus, it’s all about the politics!

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  66. Paulus (2,720 comments) says:

    Sue Moroney was asked on Radio this morning what is the cost of her proposal – she spluttered, and coughed, and of course had no idea, and refused to comment further.

    English also on radio at lunch time gave his costings for this so called exercise, and confirmed that whilst, nice to have, was not going to support it at the third reading – so waste of time – but Labour/Greens/Winston have plenty of time to waste.

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  67. bc (1,396 comments) says:

    It won’t be a waste of time for the opposition parties if they use the time to build up public support though, Paulus.
    To me that should be the real worry for National. Under a MMP environment they just got the numbers in the last election. The opposition parties now have a platform where they can try to get back the swinging voters. National just saying they can’t (i.e. won’t) look at this bill without even considering any options is not a good look.
    They may have won the battle, but will they win the war? (2014)

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  68. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    lol for all the employers of NZ contemplating this.

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  69. KevinH (1,260 comments) says:

    To echo Simon Bridges, M.P. for Tauranga, on TV1’s Breakfast this morning,”Philosophically I’m not opposed to the idea, but at the moment the government can’t afford it”
    If the government was to tighten eligibility for WWF, i.e. means testing, then some money may be made available for this bill.
    The greatest investment any country can make is in the welfare of the most vulnerable, it’s children, because those children will be tomorrows doctors, teachers and community leaders.

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  70. mikenmild (12,564 comments) says:

    Indeed Kevin, the government is quite simply lying when it calims there is no money for this. It is a political decision, just as the government could also choose to borrow less money each year by making other political choices.
    I’ve been wondering about the financial veto. As I understand it, the veto can be exercised if the government says that the measure would have more than a minor impact on fiscal balances. I wonder what would happen if a fiscally neutral measure was proposed, ie, one that created a new entitlement (like PPL for example) while taking away an equivalent expenditure.

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  71. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    “while taking away an equivalent expenditure.”

    Wot, like WFF?

    Done deal.

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  72. mikenmild (12,564 comments) says:

    Yeah, just as an example, if Parliament passed alaw that extended PPL and tightened WFF to an equivalent degree, could the government still veto it?

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  73. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    mikeymilky

    Interesting point. Ask Moroney if she would like to propose that change.

    I suspect that the current parent beneficiary community would prefer to stick with the extra cash from WFF to pay for the new houses they bought when WFF was introduced.

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  74. mikenmild (12,564 comments) says:

    Just an example, but I’m sure there a load of this that the government could save $150 million per year on to fund PPL

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  75. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    I’d be happy with a reallocation off the top end of WFF and divert that to extending PPL. With the bonus that it starts the reassessment of WFF.

    Our whole tax/benefit system is far too complex and convoluted. As a simple example, I found this out yesterday – for someone on an ME tax code:
    Weekly earning 461.00 tax 69.66
    Weekly earning 462.00 tax 59.85

    Thats 510.12 less tax per year if you earn $1 a week more.

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  76. Nookin (3,590 comments) says:

    “Just an example, but I’m sure there a load of this that the government could save $150 million per year on to fund PPL”

    If this was a priority then it would be doable. The issue is the price. Let’s test the water. The government will now sell 60% of state assets to fund PPL and not 49%. Open Cast mining will start on Conservation land next weekend. Those in favour?

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  77. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    PG

    “I’d be happy with a reallocation off the top end of WFF and divert that to extending PPL. With the bonus that it starts the reassessment of WFF.”

    Done the numbers at the macro level for that one PG?

    One way of coming up with suggestions is to determine if there is a problem, determine the extent of the problem and how that problem might be rectified, cost a range of possible solutions and interventions and see how they might integrated with other programs or interventions, measure the benefits arising under those options and then come up with a final solution.

    Cutting through all that crap and just making suggestions does seem a whole lot quicker I must admit!

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  78. Pete George (23,852 comments) says:

    I suspect both Sue Moroney and Bill English have both cut through all that crap on PPL davinci.

    It seems to often go (and vice versa):
    Labour: “Blah blah blah”
    National: “Na na na”.

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  79. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    Yes indeed.

    I think English’s argument is stronger somehow.

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  80. Michael (915 comments) says:

    Disappointing to see Labour chucking their toys – they were actually proposing a universal PPL option so welfare for millionaires. It could now cap PPL to families earning less than (say) $60,000 and then recalculated the overall cost then it could be affordable. Someone in the Labour Party research unit should do some analysis on this and see if they can have a resurrection of their policy.

    Remember that families are entitled to WFF as well – that is means tested – so it is not without precendent.

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  81. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Why should I, as a taxpayer, fund the feckless loser lifestyle of thousands of 20-something women who can’t keep their legs together and who continue to have babies that the TAXPAYER (i.e. me) will end up paying for?

    What is **wrong** with people in this country? When did “responsibility” and “self-discipline” become dirty words? When did “welfare dependence” become the preferred lifestyle?

    To **heck** with the extended paid parental leave. If people want time off, they can negotiate it with their boss. Why should ***I*** pay for them?

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  82. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    thor42

    You don’t deserve to live in a civil society. F**k off to somewhere more to your liking – the Middle Ages, perhaps?

    Oh no, still too civilized! How about the Dark Ages.

    Grrrr…

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  83. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    “It could now cap PPL to families earning less than (say) $60,000..”

    Of course. A totally predictable leftard solution. Tax the crap out of the revenue generators and job creators and give the proceeds to the Labour voter base. Who’da thought?

    Surely the most diehard lefty can recognise we cannot afford more welfare – our priority should actually be on cutting it back!

    Start with scrapping payments to perennial bludgers who opt for a lifestyle funded by the taxpayer instead of getting off their arse and getting a job. Then look at WFF abuse and jump on it. Once this has been sorted, cut out interest free student loans and actively recover outstanding monies. That’d be a darn good start….

    We need to get our books back into the black – not look for ways to spend money we don’t have.

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  84. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    PPL is not welfare.

    It’s an investment.

    The pay off may well be huge.

    From world leaders we have descended to a world lagger. In nearly everything!

    It’s not hard to pay for 150m pa. Try reversing just 15% of the 1b in tax cuts Billy boy and JK handed out to people like me and those much, much, much better off than I.

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  85. thedavincimode (6,891 comments) says:

    What fucking payoff twat?

    WFF + PPL + more PPL= Happy Luc

    BTW, you might like to say thanks for your breeding welfare.

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  86. bc (1,396 comments) says:

    thor42
    That’s the “cost” of living in a civilised society. If you don’t like it, then all it takes is a one-way plane ticket to wherever suits your way of thinking.

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  87. V (771 comments) says:

    Be interesting if the government could say OK to this paid parental leave proposal.
    But…. here are $300 million of govt agency spending on the chopping block to pay for it.
    (Goodbye TPK, TEC etc etc)
    (Yes it’s 2x the predicted policy cost estimate, but as we all know these estimates are usually off)

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  88. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    Don’t forget old Luc wants to tax the fuck out of the productive sector by implementing a higher ETS. PPL isn’t a fucking investment it’s simply socialism on steroids with the ultimate goal of having all the feckless wonders in this country selling their souls for their weekly forty pieces of sliver.

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  89. Michael (915 comments) says:

    Elaycee – fuck off you ignoramus. PPL is only paid to people who are working (the productive people). It is designed to help them through a period of no income and back into employment. If you don’t go back to work within 12 months you have to repay it.

    I just question why it is universal – it should be means tested like WFF. (So should Super, but that’s another story)

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  90. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    cows4me

    Excuse me? I don’t have a lot of time for ETS as a concept. I think a straight carbon tax is more sensible and effective. I wouldn’t want to see us get out of step with our trading partners, but for very little cost we can set higher standards to reduce the danger of future climate change – set a good example, but not at the cost of destroying our economy.

    And I work in the productive sector, you wanker.

    Go find an udder to suck on.

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  91. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    “PPL is only paid to people who are working…”

    Haha – do you actually read what you write before you hit the ‘submit comment’ button?

    Best you look up the meaning of oxymoron.

    Besides, we need to cut our cloth to suit our bank account rather than being inundated by leftards trying to spend money we don’t have.

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  92. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    But borrowing 1 billion bucks a year from China for tax cuts for the wealthy is OK?

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  93. kiwi in america (2,316 comments) says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Labour campaigned only 5 months ago on the policy of extending PPL to 6 months. The outcome? Their lowest showing since the 1920s. Clark’s government used their Minister of Finance veto on at least 3 occasions when the ballot threw up Private Member’s Bills that if passed would impose a fiscal obligation requiring an appropriations bill.

    This is just a try on – a way to sneak the policy already subject to the verdict of the voters in through the back door of the private members ballot. Of course the Labour left friendly media have never seen an increase in government spending and taxes that they haven’t adored and preached in favour of. The same media spun Cullen’s vetos as wise and prudent but English’s threat of a veto as heartless, anti democratic and out of step with public opinion.

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  94. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    It’s a bit of a stretch to link Labour’s loss to their PPL policy. But of course it’s a try on. The problem for the govt is that every steely gaze English gives the camera when he is saying no, no, no is another nail in their coffin.

    I’ll ignore your comment about left spending habits – just which party is running record deficits? Oh, damn, not the left.

    I will remind you that it was your hero Key who called 100 million bucks “chump change.”

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  95. big bruv (14,228 comments) says:

    “PPL is not welfare.”

    Only a socialist could make such a stupid and obviously false statement.

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  96. swan (665 comments) says:

    @ Luc Hansen

    “But borrowing 1 billion bucks a year from China for tax cuts for the wealthy is OK?”

    Have you completely lost all sense of logic? You dont borrow to pay for tax cuts. You borrow to pay for government spending. They have chosen to take less (but still a lot) of tax from certain people. It was those peoples money in the first place!

    The fact that the government hasnt trimmed spending to suit its income is another matter entirely.

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  97. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    LUC
    Why is this govt running debts?

    1. because Labour was fiscally irresponsible with our money.
    2. NZ public are fiscally irresponsible with their children’s futures.
    3. Labour and pals are morally irresponsible with other people’s money
    4. NZ public are morally irresponsible with other people’s money.
    5. 168,000 taxpayers are viewed as a bank by Labour and pals
    6. 168,000 taxpayers are viewed as a bank by the rest of the NZ public
    7 this present govt doesn’t have the balls to make our financial position properly known to the voters.
    8. this NZ public is too entitlement blind to see the wood for the trees.
    9. this present govt doesn’t want to upset the entitlement block and lose power.

    But as a lefty you don’t see this because it applies to you, especially 2,3,4,5,6,8

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  98. Rick Rowling (816 comments) says:

    Try reversing just 15% of the 1b in tax cuts Billy boy and JK handed out to people like me

    Hey, don’t feel bad about your tax cut Luc, remember that you’re still paying a much greater proportion of your earnings in tax than most people are.

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  99. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    “PPL is not welfare.”

    Bwahahahaaaaaaaaaaa… comedy gold.

    How can a promise of a taxpayer funded handout NOT be some form of welfare / not be some form of electoral bribe???

    Only in the world of the leftard.

    Pfffttt….

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  100. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    I support PPL of 6 months.

    Ideally it should be in the form of a prepaid funding off of wages like ACC on each taxpayer into a ring fenced fund in their name, if money in fund then PPL available to that level.

    If people want more kids then they should plan for them.

    Though what you do with women (and their men) on the dole who have kids ad finitum I don’t know.

    This is similar to how old age pensions should be funded.

    In the old days the family would support each other and you would build on that.
    But the nanny state has broken down those relationships and some how we need to get back to there, which means breaking down the nanny state?

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  101. Rick Rowling (816 comments) says:

    For the record, I would support an increase in PPL, but not an increase in the overall welfare bill.

    By welfare, I include WFF and student loans er law-school-graduates’-interest-being-paid-for-by-forestry-workers’-and-cleaners’-tax-bills.

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  102. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Oh fer fucks saké. It’s not exactly a huge period of time in a person’s life if their parent is paid PPL for 6 months. You conservative types piss an moan about the abortion rates but begrudge a reasonable allowance to hardworking new Moms who. I haven’t read all the comments but I bet someone has put up a comment about wimmin needing to keep their legs closed.

    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/04/wimmin-still-havin-children-after-all.html

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