No valid arguments against extending paid parental leave

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26 for Babies Media Release – 13 March 2013

The community coalition established to promote extending paid parental leave, 26 for Babies, today delivered a strong message to parliament that no good arguments had been put up against legislation.

26 for Babies spokesperson Deborah Morris-Travers said that the public had delivered a strong mandate in the form of submissions and that all political parties outside National and ACT supported Sue Moroney’s bill to take paid parental leave to six months.

“With only seven submissions against this bill, opponents have scrambled to find arguments against extending our very low paid parental leave entitlement that don’t really exist,” said Deborah Morris-Travers.

“All the evidence is that a longer period of paid parental leave is in the best interest of babies, parents and the workforce,” said Morris-Travers.

“It also makes sound economic sense and there is no excuse for the financial veto that government has threatened. Government’s inflated costings have not fooled submitters who are clear about the financial wisdom of investing in those important early months.”

Deborah Morris-Travers said that the responsibility now lay with the National Party to put politics aside and either support Moroney’s bill or come up with a modified plan to give parents more time with their new babies.

The 26 for Babies coalition is a broad grouping of child advocates, breastfeeding and health organisations, women’s groups, others NGOs and trade unions. Their submission today was preceded by a pushchair march to the select committee.

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