Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Not all parents in paid work


Not all parents in paid work

Labour’s “Working for Families” package emphasises work as the way out of poverty, but it ignores the fact that not all parents can work fulltime or earn enough to feed and clothe their families, the Alliance says.

The Government’s latest tax breaks for middle-income families do not help those in low-paid, part-time and casual work and they do nothing to alleviate child poverty in beneficiary families, says Gail Marmont, Alliance social services spokesperson and Dunedin List candidate.

“These are New Zealanders too, they are amongst the poorest families in our community, and they have been cynically ignored once again,” she says.

Ms Marmont says that although women with children have been participating in paid work in ever increasing numbers, there has been very little adaptation by the rest of society to their roles as employee and mother, and on top of this, women are expected to carry out most of the unpaid and caring work in our community.

“More than 100 years after New Zealand women became the first in the world with the right to vote, there is still a considerable way to go.

“Childcare is patchy and expensive. Most workplaces are inflexible about the hours people are expected to work. And women take home significantly less pay than men, especially Maori and Pacific women who tend to be in a narrow range of occupations such as cleaning and caregiving.”

The Alliance would set explicit goals to eliminate child poverty by increasing family income of the poorest families with a $15 an hour minimum wage, an immediate increase in benefits, making the first $10,000 tax-free and introducing a universal family benefit [www.alliance.org.nz ].

Ms Marmont says the concept of a universal family benefit was once widely supported by all political parties. Family assistance has been around since 1926, and in 1946 the Family Benefit became fully universal. A woman with two children received the equivalent of at least a full day’s pay for a labourer (about $100 a week in today’s terms).

“We think it is important to value the role of parenting. That’s why we don’t agree that it is in the best interests of their children to force women on the domestic purposes benefit into the paid workforce.

“It’s also why we support the Scandinavian model of providing paid parental leave for women for the first 12 months of their baby’s life, and providing two weeks paid parental leave for their partners. This would be funded through an employer levy along the lines of ACC.”

Ms Marmont says wiping student debt, providing a living allowance for all students and removing tuition fees would encourage more women to participate in tertiary education and remove the discrimination women experience because it takes them so much longer to pay off their student debt under the current system.

She says it is important to provide opportunities for women to participate in a full range of occupations, starting with the public sector, and to link public funding to training in women-dominated industries such as aged care.

“Labour’s Steve Maharey admits their aim is to get beneficiaries back to work. That’s fine if there is decent work available and genuine supports in place for workers with family responsibilities, but that’s far from the truth.”

Ms Marmont says unemployment figures are misleading and the actual extent of unemployment is far higher than officially stated, particularly among women.

“The figures are skewed by part-time and casual work and the large number of students, Maori students especially, in tertiary education.”

Ms Marmont urges voters to forget the popular stereotypes of beneficiaries. “These are real people, struggling against enormous odds.”

-ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election