Official figures for the total cost of extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks have been released and are less than half the $500 million figure Finance Minister Bill English originally claimed.
Increasing paid parental leave from 14 to 26 weeks will cost $276 million over three years, but this cost is offset by an estimated savings of $28 million a year, according to costings in the Select Committee’s report released today.
26 For Babies convenor Rebecca Matthews says the new costings show that extending paid parental leave is significantly more affordable than the Government believed, which is good news for families as it should make introducing the legislation even more achievable.
“We have a real opportunity to impact children and whanau by extending the time that parents are supported to care for their new babies,” she said.
“We encourage MPs to listen to the community and support this bill – a bill that is now significantly more affordable than earlier claimed.”
The Second Reading of the Bill is likely to take place next month.
The Select Committee Report is available at http://www.parliament.nz/resource/0002196954