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Paid Parental Leave is good but all children matter

Child Poverty Action Group says every newborn must be adequately supported, not just the few whose parents meet narrow work criteria.

Child Poverty Action Group says every newborn must be adequately supported, not just the few whose parents meet narrow work criteria.

While Paid Parental Leave (PPL) in New Zealand is in need of attention and extending the time PPL is available will be a great improvement for some families, CPAG urges a wider view.

PPL currently excludes too many newborns and the alternative Parental Tax Credit is only for low income families who satisfy work criteria. Parents on a benefit are not entitled to any extra assistance for their newborn children.

All newborns have the right to parents who can put their needs first because they have enough money to do so.

Australia does it much better and is far more generous and inclusive. Their government-funded  PPL scheme pays eligible working parents for 18 weeks at the rate of the National Minimum Wage, currently AU$590 a week before tax. And newborns not covered by PPL get a baby bonus worth $5,437.00 for each eligible child, paid in 13 fortnightly installments, and they get generous family tax credits.

Our current appalling child health statistics show us that not funding the necessary support is false economy.

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