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Four-day working week now more attractive for some

John Key MP National Party Deputy Finance Spokesman

08 June 2004

Four-day working week now more attractive for some

"Labour's narrowly targeted 'Working For Families' package will make a four-day working week more attractive for thousands of Kiwis, while the vast majority will miss out," says National Party Deputy Finance spokesman John Key.

"That's not because these families will be rolling in new-found cash, but because the Government is providing almost no incentive for them to work on the fifth day. It makes a mockery of Labour's catch-cry that this Budget will 'make work pay'.

"Under the Government's 'Working For Families' package a single income family earning $60,000 with two kids living in a Wellington suburb is only about $2,000 better off than an equivalent family earning $38,000.

"If both families are paying off a student loan, the family earning $60,000 is less than $200 a year better off.

"That means if you're earning between $25 and $30 an hour and those conditions apply, you can cut back to a four-day a week and lose almost nothing because of Government top-ups.

"In other words, a hard-working mum or dad earning $25-$30 an hour has little financial reason to work more than four days a week," says Mr Key.

"While some working parents may want to spend more time at home, Labour's policies will do nothing to help them get ahead.

"The Government is forcing more middle income families to turn to the state for assistance.

"Labour is penalising too many New Zealanders with a narrow package that benefits only one in five households.

"While a few will benefit, there'll be plenty of losers.

"But the real loser will be our economy. At a time when we should be encouraging more people into the workforce. Labour's making it easier, and indeed financially viable, for more of them to stay at home," says Mr Key.


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