God bless St Patrick

Patrick Gower is challenging John Campbell for his title of ‘Saint John’.

Now that Campbell is back on TV and prepared to stand up for every poor unfortunate in the country, Paddy is obviously afraid of being upstaged. So, to outshine the left wing ramblings that Campbell will come up with, Gower has already burst out of the gates, with a suggestion… to extend paid parental leave to cover school holidays.

Yes. That’s right. Let’s just kick employers in the guts a little bit more, shall we? No wonder business confidence is dropping like a stone when you hear drivel like this. From Newshub  quote:

For far too many Kiwi families the school holidays don’t mean a break – they mean pressure and cost.

That’s why I am promoting ‘School Holiday Paid Parental Leave’, so families can get some precious time together.

I am essentially talking about an extension of paid parental leave where families can have that quality time without the pressure of both parents working paid jobs. end quote.

You see? He even sounds like John Campbell. But, fervent though he is, I do actually believe that John Campbell is genuine in his saintliness, in his own way. Patrick Gower is just trying to race up the leaderboard and gain holy points as quickly as possible. quote:

This would help give that precious time to families, and take the pressure off parents and children.

It would also take the pressure off employers funding breaks in the productive times of the year. end quote.

Er.. what? It would take pressure off employers when every employee who has children will be wanting to take time off ALL AT THE SAME TIME? Way to go, St Paddy. This will do an enormous amount to reduce pressure on employers. Why hasn’t someone thought of this before?

I’m sorry for stating what I consider to be the obvious, Paddy, but… isn’t this what that pesky 4 weeks annual leave is for? You know… to spend ‘precious’ time with the family? That, along with the 11 statutory days each year? quote:

I am talking about one week a year per parent depending on the wages earned – means-tested so rich parents can’t get it. It would keep their costs down here and they could use it how they like to get a holiday boost. end quote.

‘Means-tested so rich parents can’t get it’? So poor people get an extra week’s leave a year, just because… they are poor? Meanwhile, the children of ‘rich’ parents can go to hell?

Wow, Paddy. Just wow. I can see how you believe all New Zealanders are equal. Your true colours really are showing here. What a disgraceful, bigoted view of the world you have.

I thought that means testing should have been applied to tertiary fees for students, but that didn’t happen. But now Paddy wants to apply it to annual leave? quote:

I believe this could be a real boost for the modern family where both parents work because, for too many them, school holidays don’t mean being together – they usually means being separate in some way as the juggling act goes on.

Just because the word ‘holiday’ is there, doesn’t mean it is fun.

Sure, for the better-off it may mean overseas trips and the like. But for the hard-working families with both parents in jobs to make ends meet, holidays can be a nightmare.

It means one parent using up valuable leave to cover at home, or it means high costs of finding holiday care, or low productivity in the workplace when parents have to be two places at once. end quote.

Schools have about 12 weeks a year of holidays, not counting teacher-only days and strike days. So, assuming that this ridiculous policy was to be adopted by the government (wait until baby Neve goes to school), parents would have exactly the same problem as they do now. They will still take alternative weeks off to look after the kids. Yes, it will make it easier for them by having an extra week a year each, in a 2 parent family. But the policy will cost a fortune of taxpayers money, will put enormous pressure on employers and will do nothing for that ‘precious time together’. So, who are you kidding, Paddy?

He ignores the fact that many better off families have the same problems in school holidays as everyone else. ‘Rich’ parents have to work too, often with very long hours. They have to juggle between work and kids too. But his sneering derision for anyone who has some disposable income is palpable. Punish the rich… even though they are the ones who ultimately will pay for this ludicrous policy anyway. quote:

I think the Government now needs to look further with paid parental leave and extend it to the school holidays.

This could work in a similar way to the early childhood education funding, but it it would be a band of support right through a child’s life. If this is going to be the best place to raise a child in the world, then this policy needs to be there.

If I was Labour, I would work up a paid parental school holiday leave policy starting with under-sevens and take it to the next election. end quote.

In my experience, both as an employer and as an employee, there is a lot of flexibility in the workplace around children, and parents do take leave in the school holidays to spend time with the family. So employers are already doing what they can for parents, while also trying to run a business. Employers have the problem of parents who need to stay home with sick children too, and often try to be as accommodating as possible. These days, most good employers really do try their best to be family friendly, even though it can be at the cost of productivity sometimes. In my experience, if it keeps a good employee happy, it is worth doing.

So let’s just kick them in the guts a bit more, shall we, Paddy? Let’s get those ‘rich pricks’. Spoken like a true socialist.

This policy will make it harder for women with children to find jobs. As unemployment rises, which is predicted for next year, it will be women who fall by the wayside first. Even if the government does pay for this ludicrous scheme, it still means employers will lose productivity because of the extra leave available. Employees can take up to 41 days a year in leave now, so any more is just dynamite to a business owner. If I was still an employer, I would look for ways around that.

And do you know what those workarounds are, Paddy? Automation. Outsourcing. Idiots like you are just about guaranteeing that workers in New Zealand – particularly low-income workers (you know, the ones you are trying to help here) will not have jobs to go to at all. The more expensive it becomes to employ people, the more smart business owners will look for alternatives and the alternatives are out there.

That will solve your school holiday problem, Paddy. Parents will be able to stay home all year. Not just in the school holidays.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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