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Turner: Economy Is For Families, Not The Reverse!

Media Statement
1 February 2005

Turner: Economy is for families, not the reverse!

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner today slammed both Labour and National for failing to understand that the "economy is there to sustain families, and not the reverse".

Responding in Parliament to Prime Minister Helen Clark's call for mothers to put their children in childcare and get back into the paid workforce, Mrs Turner said the call was "framed in interesting language for a Labour prime minister".

"Normally talk of increasing productivity, labour force capacity and OECD ranking was the kind of thing that we heard from Dr Brash when he first entered Parliament ... where people are treated as production units in the national drive to build a smokestack society that is bigger and better than our neighbours."

Mrs Turner said both Labour and National fail to truly acknowledge one basic reality - that raising children is work.

They pay lip service to it, but statements such as the Prime Minister's show that in reality, parents who choose to raise their children are given no respect, let alone practical help and encouragement, she said.

Dr Brash had taken the whole concept a step further by seeking to "contract out parenting" by pushing for adoption of the children of single mothers, she said.

"Now we have Miss Clark doing the same, but this time with childcare providers."

United Future would continue to champion the rights of parents to parent, Mrs Turner said, and would continue to ensure that everything in society, including the economy, was there to serve families, and not the other way around.


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