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Dunne: Only UF Gives Single-Income Families Choice

Media Statement
For immediate release
Monday, 3 May, 2004

Dunne: Only UF gives single-income families choice

The plight of single-income families, such as the Gilbert family featured in yesterday's Sunday Star Times special feature, simply highlights the fact that United Future is the only party prepared to stand up for the New Zealand family, party leader Peter Dunne said today.

"Our policy of splitting parents' income for tax purposes recognises the contribution of those parents who forego a double income and decide to stay at home and look after a child," Mr Dunne said.

"This is about actually delivering for families," he said.

At present, Mr Gilbert is taxed individually resulting in a total tax bill of $13,020. Under income splitting, the salary would be treated as combined income, and taxed as if Mr Gilbert and Ms McLachlan had earned half each ($27,500), giving them a total income tax bill of $10,410, - some $2610 more in the hand each year.

United Future also has a policy of freezing interest on the student loans of caregivers for two years when they have a child, as well as wiping a portion of the principal equivalent to the amount repaid in previous years.

"The Government has been focused on subsidising childcare so both parents can return to work as soon as possible after a child is born, but the same kind of assistance is not available to those who choose to stay at home to look after their children.

"What we are saying is that we should at least level the playing field so that families face a reasonably balanced choice between whether one parent stays at home or both return to work.

"As the story of the Gilbert family demonstrates, United Future is the only party championing the right of the family to do this," Mr Dunne said.


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