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Budget Doesn't Give Women Real Choice

Budget Doesn't Give Women Real Choice

Christian Heritage NZ leader, Ewen McQueen said today that the extra $55million for childcare subsidies in the Budget failed to give real choice to women. He stated:

“The Prime Minister says this is about giving women more choice. However the real choice that many women want to make is to be able to care for their own children at home – rather than being constantly pressured to enter paid employment. If Helen Clark wants to give women real choice, why doesn’t she redirect some of the hundreds of millions going into the childcare industry, back into helping parents who want to care for their own children. After all the choice to enter work carries with it its own financial reward. However the choice to care for children at home normally carries with it a major financial sacrifice.”

The CHNZ leader noted that the extra childcare funding came on top of the $365million announced in last year’s Budget which itself was an increase over the $490million pa already spent on childcare subsidies for parents and direct funding of early childhood education centres.

McQueen said that in light of this a fairer approach would have been to redirect some of this funding to a home-carers’ allowance. He said that as part of its 10-point plan to Build Families, CHNZ would seek to introduce a Home-carers Allowance of $100 per week paid to married couples with an at-home parent caring for children under five. McQueen stated,

“CHNZ will give at-home mums the recognition and support they deserve, instead of ignoring them as the ‘invisible women’ of public policy.”

Ewen McQueen
Leader, CHNZ

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