Monday, April 29, 2013

National hates families

So, despite massive public support for the bill, National is still threatening to veto the extension of paid parental leave. Their reason? We can't afford it. Bullshit. To point out the obvious, National has spent billions on tax cuts for the rich. It plans to spend billions more on non-cost-effective roads. It is spending hundreds of millions more on private prisons, on charter schools, and on subsidising the snob schools its MPs send their kids to. Hell, they're even promising to blow millions on a convention centre in Queestown which doesn't actually need the money. It is a question of priorities, not unaffordability. But its pretty clear that National's priorities don't include ordinary kiwi families. They are solely interested in helping out the ultra-rich, at the expense of everybody else.

But because National needs the votes of ordinary kiwis, it won't say any of this out loud. So it pretends its "unaffordable", but holds out the possibility of an extension after 2015, when they expect to return to surplus (assuming Treasury's numbers work out, and assuming the cuts they make to get there don't crash the economy even further). Sue Moroney should call them on that bullshit. Currently, the extension of paid parental leave will come into force immediately. Changing the date to 1 April 2015 strips National of its excuse, and forces them to say clearly whether they support ordinary kiwi families or not. And if they don't, we can all vote accordingly for a government which will.