Red and Starry Eyed | Issue 8

On Paid Parental Leave

Bill Englishís announcement that National will veto the new parental leave bill that has yet to be debated in Parliament shows Nationalís priorities more clearly than ever. It does not care for the mothers and children of New Zealand, and it does not care what we think. The National government has chosen to cheat our democracy, trading off the nationís future in the process.

The matter is a simple one: Whether New Zealand should increase parental leave from 14 weeks to 26, as recommended by the World Health Organisation. The right may say that mothers already get enough leave, or that we donít have enough money to spend on looking after our young children. If this is true then our system is obviously stuffed. It is a lie that we donít have enough money. National vetoed the bill arguing that our budget will not be able to afford it. It isnít that we donít have enough money Ė the money has already been allocated. The government could simply ask the Crown for more. The Nats arenít interested though, despite what the majority of New Zealanders may want.

The government has no right to veto the bill. The health of our young democracy is at stake. Luckily the media as a whole has helped to fire the claims that National is acting undemocratically. Why do we have MPs if they cannot make the choices they have been voted in for?

New Zealand believes parents should be able to spend more time with their kids, and rightly so! This is not a question of money, it is about the wellbeing of kids and their parents. At times it seems as if John Key forgets that he himself was brought up by a single mother. The National party is good at getting rid of the laws that allowed them to prosper as a generation. We do not have the same rights. Instead of fucking us over against our will the government should listen to us, it should fear us.

The priority should be on children and on parents; it should be on a clean and green future for them to live on in. ďWe cannot afford toĒ, they say. Lies. We can afford to send troops abroad, subsidise Fonterra, and create of this country a land plundered by foreign corporations. If the National party prioritised a) democracy and b) our future, we would live in a very different world.

Demand change. Protest inequality. Increase democracy.

Red and Starry Eyed
This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2012.
Posted 5:04pm Sunday 22nd April 2012 by Red and Starry Eyed.