Today is Members’ Day but it is unlikely much progress will be made on Members’ bills.
After Question Time and the General Debate, MPs will deal with the third reading debates of a local bill and a private bill – the Tasman District Council (Validation and Recovery of Certain Rates) Bill and Sullivan Birth Certificate Bill.
This will be followed by the committee stage of National MP Paul Goldsmith’s Electronic Transactions (Contract Formation) Amendment Bill.
Normally MPs would push through these non-controversial bills pretty quickly. However National has been slowing down progress in order to delay debate on more controversial legislation and in particular the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill.
This bill has the support of all parties except National and ACT, who argue it is too expensive. It is expected National will unveil a more limited expansion of parental leave ahead of, or in, the May Budget.
If the parental leave bill does make it to its third reading, Finance Minister Bill English is likely to use his veto powers to prevent its passage. However this is unlikely to happen ahead of the Budget.
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