News recently that Labour is looking to introduce an extension to paid parental leave from the current 14 weeks to 26 weeks shows a lack of understanding of the economic situation.

It also shows a disconnection with the electorate, who are weary of having to pay for increased Government programmes.

National has have maintained paid parental leave and we currently spend about $150 million per annum on it.  However, we are still two or three years from getting out of budget deficit so it is hard to expand entitlements in these challenging circumstances.

Another aspect from small business owners is that if 26 weeks did come in, they would think twice about employing someone who was likely to take that period off.

Parents spending time with children is important.  But we’ve got to start achieving surpluses before we can have those extra choices.