Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Maharey can’t count

Maharey can’t count

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says either Steve Maharey’s early childhood policy will cost far more than he is claiming or it will apply to only a handful of children.

On radio this morning, Mr Maharey said Labour’s policy would benefit families with children eligible for the scheme by $4,680.

But Mr English says if Labour’s policy was worth that much money for each child then, based on their $56 million budget, less than 12,000 children would benefit.

“Labour’s policy would assist less than 12,000 of 280,000 under-fives, 180,000 of whom are in formal early childhood education.

“Under Labour’s policy, either these 180,000 children will receive a measly $300 each or, if Mr Maharey is right, Labour’s policy will actually cost $800 million. It doesn’t cost $800 million, it costs $56 million.

“In fact, Labour’s childcare policy is a lottery. A few lucky parents could get some benefit but given Labour’s sad mismanagement of the education budget even that is unlikely,” says Mr English.

National’s policy:

• Caters for all under-five-year-olds. Labour’s policy applies to just three-and four-year-olds. There are 170,000 children under the age of three in New Zealand, 70,000 of whom are currently enrolled in formal early childhood education; only National’s policy will benefit them.

• Covers all forms of care so parents can make choices about how their child is cared for, rather than sending their child to the type of centre that Labour has picked for them. More than 45,000 children are enrolled in 1,000 privately owned childcare centres. Only National's policy will benefit them.

• Costs an estimated $160 million a year in direct rebates to parents, whereas Labour's policy is a guess of $56 million cost to government as a subsidy to some centres.

• Comes into effect on 1 April 2006; Labour's comes into effect in 2007.

• Will maintain the increases in sessional grants and childcare subsidies announced in Budget 2005.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news