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SP.A wants more parental leave

Published on 12/03/2007

12 March 2007

BRUSSELS – The SP.A wants to increase parental leave to one year per child. The proposal is part of the party’s family programme, which it hopes will appeal to voters for the general election in June. The Flemish socialists want to set aside 160 million euro for this family programme in the coming government term.

The party leadership – chairman Johan Vande Lanotte, deputy prime ministers Freya Van den Bossche and Frank Vandenbroucke and Antwerp mayor Patrick Janssens – met this weekend to lay the foundation for the SP.A’s electoral platform.

The document will be discussed with the party branches and a number of social organisations in the coming month before a debate with Spirit. The list of candidates will not be discussed until April, Vande Lanotte said on Sunday.

The four crucial topics on the party’s programme will be climate, international affairs, working towards a new social model, and attention to children and families in society. This last topic is a new one in the platform.

The most conspicuous proposal is extending parental leave. The plan is to allow parents to take a total of one year of leave for each child until he/she reaches the age of 12. The party also wants more flexible childcare and incentives for foster parents.

The plan includes measures to fight poverty, in particular among single-parent homes, and plans to change regulations to suit new family forms. Johan Vande Lanotte said on Sunday that his party had quite an ambitious plan that will “herald the return of faith in the perfectability of a socially just society.”

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news