Govt will veto Labour's parental leave Bill

Govt will veto Labour's parental leave Bill

Labour's 26 weeks paid parental leave Bill looks destined to fail, with the Finance Minister confirming the Government will use its financial veto.

MP Sue Moroney's Bill narrowly passed its second reading in the House last month 61-60, with the help of Peter Dunne, and will go to committee stage this week.

But it won't go further than a third reading.

"Our position is unchanged," says Bill English. "We made some extension to paid parental leave in the last couple of Budgets and we think we've got the balance right, and the financial veto is a way of ensuring we stick to the Budget."

The Government has increase paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 18 weeks and hasn't ruled out further changes.

The decision's left Labour leader Andrew Little "very disappointed".

"It's something that will make a lot of difference to a lot of families and to a lot of kids getting a decent first start.

"Our plan is to introduce the balance that's required to get up to 26 weeks over a three-year period -- that's not unaffordable, it is achievable ,so disappointed they would do that."

Mr Dunne, normally a Government supporter, voted for the legislation because his party's policy is to phase in a year of leave over five years.