A former ACT candidate from Northland has been left cowering after a swathe of Facebook users rushed to discredit his “highly insulting” comments which left hundreds stunned.
Ron Grieve, who failed to increase the ACT vote at the recent by-election, criticized the government’s extension on paid parental leave, originally a Labour Party policy, which will become law as of tomorrow.
Mr. Grieve, who last week called the editor of Insiders a “Plonker”, took to his small Facebook platform to claim:
“Aprils Fool for all us taxpayers tomorrow. Benefits going up. Work harder everyone a lot of bludgers relying on us.”
Initially Mr. Grieve was criticized for getting his facts wrong. The paid parental leave bill is for female workers who have just become new mums, and therefore are taxpayers too. Soon the responses became far more distraught and personal, and by 10pm on Tuesday evening he had close to 200 comments on his status which fetched just 6 appreciative ‘likes’.
The top comment read:
“Hold on a minute…I have worked since I was 15, had my son at 27 and am currently receiving a benefit as I am facing surgery soon. I have paid at least 150 times MORE than what I receive in tax over the years and you have the vile cheek to accuse me of being a bludger?!?!?! I am absolutely LIVID at this blatantly ignorant comment that has come out of your overpaid (by me and fellow taxpayers by the way) over fed mouth. You seem to forget, conveniently, that we also pay tax on the miniscule amount we are paid, tax on EVERYTHING we purchase and STILL state we are bludgers?! pull your head out of your ass Robin Grieve! God only knows how much disdain I hold for you and your sorry ass excuse of a party.”
Insiders invites you to tell Robin Grieve what you think of his comments. New Zealand is, or should strive to be, a grown-up, mature and fair democracy. Comments like this from Mr. Grieve are not only unprofessional and misguided, they contradict the founding New Zealand belief that everyone is entitled to a ‘fair go’. Everyone – new mothers included!
Tell Robin what you think: Click the image (link) below to comment on his Facebook post
Information on the new paid parental leave legislation. Source: ONE News, TVNZ:
Paid Parental Leave increases by two weeks to 16 weeks from tomorrow.
The entitlement will rise by another two weeks to 18 weeks from April 1 next year.
That’ll put New Zealand parents on par with those in Australia who already get 18 weeks paid parental leave, and in line with the OECD average which is about 18 weeks.
But Kiwi parents will still lag behind many in the developed world.
Parents in Luxembourg and Portugal may take 20 weeks or more while prolonged periods of paid leave of around 100 weeks or more can be taken in Finland, Hungary, Norway, Poland and the Slovak Republic.
However Kiwi parents are better off than their counterparts in in Greece, Korea and the Netherlands where parental leave is less than a week, while around a third of OECD countries do not provide any paternity leave.
Meanwhile, the parental tax credit for lower-income families in New Zealand will rise from $150 a week to $220 a week from tomorrow. The entitlement for this credit will increase from eight weeks to 10 weeks.
A Labour MP’s final bid to extend paid parental leave to six months was defeated last month after a three-year battle to get it over the line.
Sue Moroney had sought to extend paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 26 weeks. But she amended the bill late last year to limit it to parents in special circumstances, after the Government indicated it would veto the bill on financial grounds even if it passed.
A range of other Government policies also come into force from tomorrow.
The Government’s new HomeStart scheme is introduced to help around 90,000 Kiwis into their first home over the next five years.
Average ACC levies paid by employers and self-employed people will fall to 90 cents per $100 of liable earnings, down from 95 cents.
New Zealand Superannuation will increase by another 2.07 and the adult minimum wage rises from $14.25 an hour to $14.75 an hour, a 3.5% increase.
Prime Minister John Key says the changes are to help families get ahead.
“The National-led Government has focused on ensuring gains from our growing economy flow through to families and these measures demonstrate that,” Mr Key says.
More policies designed to help families take effect from July 1, Mr Key says. These include children under 13 having access to free GP visits and free prescriptions, and the average ACC levy for a private motor vehicle falling by around $135 a year.