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Tizard dazed and confused

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

12 July 2005

Tizard dazed and confused

Total confusion reigns within the Labour Party over its childcare policy, says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

"Judith Tizard visited a centre in Auckland last week and issued a press release saying this was just the sort of centre where children would benefit from Labour's 20-hours-free childcare policy," says Mr English.

"Unfortunately, the centre is privately owned. It is just the sort of centre Labour wants out of business. The children in it won't qualify for Labour's toddler lottery, where only one in 10 parents can win.

"If Trevor Mallard can't explain this stupid policy to his own Cabinet how will Labour ever explain it to the 90% of families with children under five who won't be qualifying for it?

"Mr Mallard should also tell his colleagues that only 22,000 children will benefit from Labour's tinkering - that's less than 10% of under-fives.

"Judith Tizard claimed 5,400 children in her electorate would benefit. In fact, many of those children are already entitled to free care at a kindergarten, playcentre or kohanga reo. The remaining children will have to engage in a lottery to secure a place in a Labour-approved centre.

"National's childcare tax deduction is direct assistance to families to support whatever choices they make to suit their circumstances. It will benefit more families and more children," says Mr English.

ENDS

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