National to increase paid parental leave again

announced:

National will progressively extend to 22 weeks as part of its Parents and Newborns Package designed to support families to grow and stay healthy, while also putting more money into their pockets.

“National will share the dividends of a growing economy, with more support for families with newborns in a new package made possible only by the improving government finances,” Women Spokesperson Paula Bennett says.

Ironic that Labour only extended it from 9 to 14 weeks, and National is taking it from 14 to 22. When you have a surplus you get better options around what you can afford.

Add flexibility to Paid Parental Leave, by allowing both parents to take some of the 22 weeks off at the same time so they can be at home with their baby together

This is a very useful change. Doesn’t cost anything but for many families the more time both parents can have at home together the better. Many families might choose for say the father to take six weeks and the mother 16 weeks so they have six weeks together trying to survive the baby’s demands.

“As pregnancy can lead to dental problems for some women, we will fund one dental course for all pregnant women and mothers up until their baby’s first birthday, including a check-up and any resulting x-rays, extractions and fillings.

Sounds reasonable.

The Parents and Newborns Package will come into effect on 1 July 2018. It is expected to cost $88 million per year from 2019/2020 once 22 weeks of Paid Parental Leave is fully implemented.

Something just messaged me to say they think the election should be held this weekend as the country may not survive another three week of spending pledges!

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