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National says forget the kids’ sport

19 August 2005

National says forget the kids’ sport

“Most New Zealanders will be appalled at the values National wants to promote through its tax cuts,” Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

He was referring to an interview John Key gave on Checkpoint yesterday in which he criticised Labour’s Family Tax Relief package on the grounds that it would make parents more likely to watch the kids playing sport on Saturday mornings than put in a few extra hours at work.

“If that is one of the effects of our policy, I will regard it as a positive and I’m sure most Kiwi families will agree with me. Labour stands unabashedly for a healthy work-life balance and has been actively pursuing policies to achieve this,” Dr Cullen said.

“It is already evident that National’s tax cuts will mean poorer social services. What Mr Key’s statement indicates is that, if the incentives created by the tax cuts achieve the behavioural changes National wants, New Zealand children will also pay a price as their parents spend more hours at work.”

Key on Checkpoint: We'll you'll have to look at our numbers on Monday but what I can tell you is that, um, our package will ensure that the right incentives are in the economy. Um, these are all of the wrong incentives. I mean the delivery mechanism reinforces a view that, um, effectively you have two employers now under their model.

You have your paid employment and you effectively have your welfare payment through Working For Families and as you increase your employment, employed paid income through whatever you do, overtime or more responsibility or a better job that bucket increases but the bucket that is coming from the government into Working For Families is reduced and so the question you have to ask yourself I think, Gael, is are you going to go and work as a person on Saturday morning and miss the kids being at sport or are you going to work a little longer or a little harder to get ahead when you lose what for most people will be about sixty, fifty-five to sixty cents in the dollar and the answer is, um, and potentially more, potentially as high as eighty cents in the dollar. So the answer I think for most people is no.

ENDS

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