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Budget Ignores Mums At Home

Budget Ignores Mums At Home

Christian Heritage NZ leader, Ewen McQueen said today that the Budget ignored mums who chose to stay at home and look after their own children. Instead significantly more funding was directed to childcare subsidies aimed at encouraging women back into paid employment. He stated.

“ This part of the Budget has little to do with what’s best for children or family life. It has everything to do with continuing to affirm only one choice for mothers - going back to work. If you want work, the Government will pay someone else to care for your children while you earn. However if you chose to sacrifice an income in order to care for them yourself in those important early years, the Government will ignore you.”

Mr McQueen noted that the Government already spent approx. $490 million annually on childcare subsidies for parents and direct funding of early childhood education centres. This equated to approx. $2,700 pa for each of the 180,000 children enrolled in such centres. The remaining 100,000 kiwi children aged under five who were not enrolled in such centres received nothing. Mr McQueen said that in light of this a fairer approach would have been to allocate the extra $365 million announced in the budget to a home-carers allowance of some sort. He stated,

“ This issue is not about saying mothers should stay at home. It’s about creating a level playing field so they can make their own choice. At the moment the field is tilted severely one way because the incentives are all on one side. It needs to be levelled by having some incentives for mums who want to invest in their children. A home-carers allowance would do this.”

The CHNZ leader said an alternative to a home-carers allowance, would be to simply make the existing childcare funding available to all mothers as some form of child benefit. This could then be used to either purchase childcare or retained to help offset the sacrifice of giving up one income to care for children at home.

Ewen McQueen

Party Leader

Christian Heritage NZ

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