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Another panicked U-turn from Labour

Hon Bill English MP National Party Education Spokesman

22 August 2005

Another panicked U-turn from Labour

"Taxpayers are right to resent Labour's divisive tactic of using tax dollars to bribe small groups of Labour's choosing," says National Party Education spokesman Bill English.

He is commenting after an "astonishing U-turn" by Education Minister Trevor Mallard who today announced that Labour's "20 hours free" policy would be extended to children attending private childcare centres.

"Only about 26,000 children out of 280,000 children under 5 will benefit from this policy change.

"Most families with young children will be better off with National's fair tax and family assistance package, and tax deductibility for childcare.

"Labour's scheme applies only to 3 and 4-year-olds.

"Under this policy, families with children under the age of three will have to pay higher child care costs in order to subsidise the "free" care of older children.

"Parents will be justifiably cynical about this sudden change in Labour's policy.

"A few months ago Labour had no money for tax cuts yet suddenly they have found hundreds of millions for election-year bribes," says Mr English.


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