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Turner: Choice with disadvantage is no choice

Thursday, 28 July 2005

Turner: Choice with disadvantage is no choice, Steve

Social Development Minister Steve Maharey is continuing “the Government fiction that stay-at-home parents are given anything close to a real choice”, United Future deputy leader Judy Turner said today.

“They literally pay a substantial price for making the decision to raise their children - a decision, I might add, that has huge social benefits to this country,” Mrs Turner said.

“Real choice is about giving equal opportunity and equal financial encouragement and this Government simply doesn’t do that. It limits its incentive to two-parent working families,” she said after challenging Mr Maharey on the issue of Christchurch’s Garside family, whose plight was shown on TV One’s Sunday programme last week.

United Future’s income-splitting policy was the answer for the Garsides and thousands upon thousands of families like them, she said.

“They would get $98 extra a week under United Future’s income splitting policy. Instead, under Labour, they are financially damaged by their choice.

Mrs Turner asked Mr Maharey if he had seen yesterday’s Littlies’ Lobby survey showing that parents’ top concern was spending more quality time with their children under five and that they want polices that give ‘support and recognition for a parent to stay at home with children’.

“So keep talking about choice, Mr Maharey, but there is a huge group of parents who know that you’re talking - to quote the inimitable Dr Brash - baloney!

“Income splitting gives choice. Give it a go for the sake of families,” she said.


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