Cynical Use Of Celebration Predicted
Sunday 16 September 2001
The Labour-Alliance Government will no doubt use Women's Suffrage Day this week, just as they cynically used Mother's Day in May, to announce its changes to parental support legislation, National's Women's Affairs spokesperson Anne Tolley said today.
"Previous hints about the Government's Paid Parental Leave policy suggested that it would include scrapping the Parental Tax Credit. If this is the case, the new policy will be unfair and selective by assisting only a 'certain type' of new mother.
"If the Parental Tax Credit is removed to help fund parental leave just for women in the workforce, as Laila Harre has indicated to date, this will mean a cut in the family budget for some low-income families with a mother at home looking after the family.
"In the late '90s National recognised the stress and pressures for women having children. We introduced the Parental Tax Credit for working families with a new baby - up to $150 per week for 12 weeks. We understood that women have a wide variety of work experiences whether they are self-employed, a partner in a business, in full-time employment, a full-time Mum, or in part-time work. National's targeted policy included all families with a new baby as long as someone in the family was in the workforce.
"I sincerely hope the Government has had second thoughts about this proposal or it will be playing a cruel joke on women on Suffrage Day - a day when we celebrate women gaining the vote and a voice in the way our communities are run.
"A plan to support one group of women having a baby, by cutting funding to a different group of new mothers, doesn't seem to me to be in the spirit of Women's Suffrage Day," Mrs Tolley said.