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The Government is playing politics when it comes to pay equity and it’s time to take action, National’s Women’s spokesperson Paula Bennett says.

“The Equal Pay Amendment Bill has been ready to be debated at second reading in Parliament since May 13th. The Government has left it languishing on the Order Paper. 

“Today Julie Anne Genter released a statement saying that the Bill is currently in front of a Select Committee. The Minister either doesn’t know that the Bill came back from Select Committee three months ago, or she’s deliberately tried to mislead the media.

“The work behind this Bill was originally done by the National Government. The current Government refused to bring it with them when it was sworn in. It then voted down a National Members Bill from Maungakiekie MP Denise Lee. 

“If the Government had kept our Government Bill, or Denise Lee’s Bill, they would be law by now and women would be benefitting from the changes. 

“Instead, they waited until Suffrage Day last year to introduce the Equal Pay Amendment Bill which was 90 per cent copied and pasted from our work. 

“Today I’m asking Julie Anne Genter to ensure that this Bill is brought back before Parliament as soon as possible and to stop playing politics. It seems that Government is once again cynically waiting until Suffrage Day to debate it so it can use this as a publicity stunt.

“Julie Anne Genter should apologise for releasing false information in her press release today. She should then do everything she can to progress this Bill. Women shouldn’t have to wait even longer for this Bill because she wants to do a press release on Suffrage Day.”

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