Labour's tax break almost good for parents
Media release from
For immediate release
Labour's tax break almost good for parents!
By targeting the Working for Families package at low income Dr. Cullen has once again overlooked the role of the parent, claims lobby group Parent.org.
While delighted that government is finally noticing that a huge number of families are struggling to give their children a memorable and experience rich childhood and moving to address that, the group is frustrated that by overtly targeting the package at low income income working families they have missed an opportunity to acknowledge and demonstrate that they value all parents in society.
“Having just spent years telling us that they value innovation it would have been nice to see some demonstrated with the tax system when they had the chance.” observed Parent.org spokesperson, Steve Gore.
The group pointed to United Future's income splitting policy or Britain's income tax allowance system as example's of tax systems that value parenting. Britain operates a personal tax allowance system that is attached to everyone, meaning that the parenting role and the cost of child rearing is directly financially recognised. It achieves exactly the same outcome as Dr. Cullen's scheme where those families with low income pay little or no tax and those on high income contribute significantly more, but is probably easier to implement and at the same time sends a very clear message that all parents play an important role in society. If you are a full time New Zealand parent in a high income family to all accounts you don't exist, and if you are on a benefit here is yet another message urging you to dump your child with strangers and go back to work. The income-splitting model that United Future is promoting is another creative way that the parenting role can be recognised in the tax system, which the government didn't utilise.
“This is where Dr. Cullen is missing the bigger picture,” said Mr. Gore. “He opened this year's budget with the announcement that he was “securing the future", which means the next election cycle. The true long term future is in cots and pushchairs and schools across the country and the people that care most about those futures are being left unvalued and unskilled and urged to abandon their children and enter the workforce. The long term future is being very much left to chance. The only way we can truly secure the future is to raise a generation that is more capable than we are and the only way we can do that is to have parents who are inspired and encouraged to be the best they can be, and arm them with skills and up to date knowledge on how to raise children who are ambitious, smart and emotionally secure.”
"We believe that this initiative points to the lack of representation that parents have at the Cabinet table. Unless you have someone considering every initiative in terms of the impact it has on the parenting role and actively fighting for parents you are doomed to come out with initiatives that are, like this one, almost good,” said Mr. Gore.
Parent.org will be pressing the next government to ensure that parents have better cabinet representation, are recognised for their contribution and receive incentives to seek skills and knowledge.