UN REPORT SPARKS CALL BY GREENS
The Greens are calling on the Government to reconsider its policies on women after the latest UN report on the elimination of discrimination against women.
Spokeswoman Jan Logie said it noted New Zealand needed to make progress on pay equity. Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly weighed in on the impact of proposed employment law changes on women.
Women's Affairs Minister Jo Goodhew said the report acknowledged a narrowing of the gender gap for median hourly earnings, improved women's health outcomes and more women tertiary students.
SLOWLY, SLOWLY ON ALCOHOL REFORM BILL
The long slow march of the Alcohol Reform Bill into law trudges on with yet another twist in the road revealed yesterday. It’s about 20 months since former justice minister Simon Power introduced the bill and his successor Judith Collins promised in May that it would be back for its final stages within weeks.
But the draft amendment she touted in May has been revised and the bill itself has had some as-yet-undisclosed tweaks. Ms Collins admitted it would need a ‘‘huge amount of time’’ on the floor of the House before it could pass – and may yet be delayed again.
NUMBERS FLY IN DEBATE ON PAID PARENTAL LEAVE
Labour MP Sue Moroney is claiming a victory in the war of numbers over her bill that would increase paid parental leave to 26 weeks. Finance Minister Bill English has pledged to use the Government’s financial veto to defeat the law change, arguing last week it would cost an extra $500 million over the next three to four years.
Ms Moroney had countered with officials’ advice showing the three-year cost would be just $285.6m. Yesterday Mr English volleyed back a new estimate, saying it would cost $439m for the first four years – money the Government did not have to spare.
RAPID LAW CHANGE LIKELY AFTER DONATIONS SAGA
The John Banks ‘‘anonymous’’ donations saga seems certain to see a rapid law change which will bring the local government disclosure regime into line with the central government one.
Prime Minister John Key yesterday described the existing law as ‘‘an ass’’ and said it ‘‘probably makes sense’’ to change it before local body elections are held next year, though that would depend on finding time for it in Parliament’s schedule.
Given that Mr Banks, the ACT leader, yesterday also came out in favour of a change, it should fly through all its stages.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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