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Dunne: Brash wants kids out of way

Wednesday, 6 July 2005

Dunne: Brash wants kids out of way; all parents working

National's announcement of an increased childcare rebate for "working parents" confirms that neither Labour or National value those who stay home to raise their children, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

"Both Labour and National are sending the same message: Chuck your kids into the cheapest childcare you can find and do some real work," he said.

"Well, sorry, but there are many thousands of New Zealanders out there with a very different idea of what will give their children the best start in life - and United Future will give them that option and make that choice more financially viable.

"The fact that there is not one red cent for these parents shows that neither National or Labour value the family as a family. As an economic unit, yes, but as a family, no.

"The message is loud and clear. Parents who stay home to look after their children are being snubbed.

"We've had Helen Clark calling on mothers to shove their children into dawn-till-dusk care and rejoin the workforce to boost economic productivity, now Don clearly thinks something similar would be a very fine idea.

"Every other party pays lip-service and they've all recently adopted family spokespeople, but policies like today's show that deep down, families are expendable and to be squeezed from all sides," Mr Dunne said.

"They all miss one very simple thing that United Future holds at its very heart: The economy is there to serve families; families are not there to serve the economy.

"Think about that next time one of them tells you that our children are our future. Then remember their policies."

"I'll believe it when they support the choice to raise your own children with the same vigour as they do the alternative, and remove obstacles to doing so," he said.

Mr Dunne said United Future would recognise the costs of raising a family by allowing couples raising children to split their income for tax purposes, treating them as equal partners.

"And we will recognise the impact of student loan debt on raising a family by freezing interest and writing off a portion of the debt of parents for two years after the birth of a child."

ENDS

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