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Another blow to families

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, April 28th, 2010 - 42 comments
Categories: class war, education, families - Tags: ,

Not content with raising the cost of living through a GST increase, the Nats are clearly planning another blow to young families. On RNZ this morning:

The Finance Minister says the Government is moving to contain the cost of early childhood education, with details to be announced in the Budget.

The National Party pledged before the 2008 election that parents would not pay any more for childcare than they did under Labour’s 20 free hours policy.

But Finance Minister Bill English says the cost of early childhood education has trebled in the past six years*. He says the Government is moving to balance the support parents receive with the need to contain future costs. When asked whether he could rule out fee increases for parents, as a result of any changes to the 20 hours policy, Mr English said he did not want to jump to conclusions that would prejudge next month’s Budget.

The Labour Party says it is clear the Government is looking to cut costs in early childhood education, which may include the 20 hours childcare policy. Labour’s early education spokesperson, Sue Moroney, says many families rely heavily on the subsidy.

Early childhood education lays a foundation for future educational success. According to the Ministry of Education:

Research shows that children who are involved in quality early childhood education (ECE) benefit in many ways, and that these benefits also extend to their family/whānau and the wider community.

Only stupid, short term thinkers would decrease the quality of or access to such education. But Bill is clearly preparing the ground for the axing of 20 hours free. “Moving to balance the support parents receive with the need to contain future costs” — spare us the double talk please. Tell parents what to expect right now, so that they can start making plans.

[* Trebled in six years? Someone needs to get Bill’s figures on this asap.]

42 comments on “Another blow to families”

  1. walter 1

    I don’t think they know the difference between cost and value.
    What was that Oscar Wilde quote?

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      hmm ….. you mean the one that goes something like ….. he who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing ?

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    Mr English said he did not want to jump to conclusions that would prejudge next month’s Budget.

    Yeah, coz that would be the Minister of Finance’s job.

  3. Tigger 3

    Gotta find that Whanau Ora money from somewhere…

  4. A Nonny Moose 4

    Holy crap, this government really has a thing in for women. Because as much as we’d love to see equal raising of the kids, you know this is going to harm working mothers a whole lot worse.

    Talk about insipid sexism.

  5. big bruv 5

    I do hope this turns out to be true.

    It is not my job to pay for other peoples child care, lets also hope that WFF is next in line.

    • Bored 5.1

      Hell, I agree but not for the same reasons. My take is that if we got all the secondary income earners to do the sums on how much it costs to go to work or stay home, a cost benefit analysis might be very interesting.

      Just think, you could drop into a lower tax bracket, save on fuel, garden and cook to save money on processed crap, etc etc. Unemployment would go west, wages go up with labour demand. Happiness at home, righties would be left wondering how to make profit with nobody wanting to do their jobs for shit wages.

      • big bruv 5.1.1


        Is profit a dirty word in your world?

        For your information, those doing a job for “shit wages” are more than likely already being paid far more than they are worth, if you really want to do something about unemployment then you need to do away with the minimum wage.

        But then, you lot are not really interested in fixing the problem are you.

        • freedom

          i for one am interested to know what is your obviously highly esteemed contribution of labour to our society big bruv?

        • Bored

          If low paid workers are “more likely being paid more than they are worth” and profits are still being made, high wages being paid to the self declared “more valuable” workers one wonders how you reach your conclusion about the value of workers.

          I dont quite get how depressing wages further will cure unemployment when one feedback loop (consumer demand) will be depressed. What I am suggesting is to put the heat on employers by way of their beloved law of supply and demand.

        • nzfp

          Hey Big Bruv,
          I thought you were on your way over to the USA to join the heroic US Marines and deploy to Afghanistan. Why are you still here?

          • big bruv

            Nope, far more interested in staying here and debating with you people, for instance, I really want to know why you guys think it is better for a youth to stay home on the dole than have a job that pays $400 a week.

            Tell me why that is such a good idea.

            • Maynard J

              Because not every youth in NZ can have a job for $400 a week.

              If the choice was “every youth in NZ can have a job for $400 a week, or every youth gets a benefit” then we would all choose the job option (assuming those at school can stay, otherwise we’d have an uneducated society in quite a hurry – although deducing that takes some complex thinking that you’re clearly incapable of).

              Unfortunately such options only exist in fantasy worlds ocupied by Alice, Harry Potter and right-wing fools like you.

              • big bruv


                OK, so you don’t really give a toss about the sky rocketing youth unemployment, the real issue for you is the idealogical battle.
                Meanwhile, thousands of kids are denied the chance to earn $400 a week because you and the rest of your pinko mates do not live in the real world.

                Remember that next time you start crapping on about youth issue’s, you will use these poor sods for your own selfish political goals, there will be bucket loads of faux concern from Labour people about the high rate of youth unemployment when the reality is that you want these people on a benefit so they continue to vote for Labour.

                No wonder you are looking at being in opposition for at least the next nine years.

              • Maynard J

                I don’t know how youth are being denied the chance to earn $400 a week, big bruv, I answered a hypothetical question. No ideology in my answer at all, it was purely factual, based on the reality and common sense. Not every youth can have a $400 job.



                Grow some balls and argue the point, instead of spouting bullshit and turnips.

                As for your little ‘remember that next time blah blah’ diatribe – what’s with you, man? There is no way a rational being could have derived that from my response.

              • r0b

                There is no way a rational being could have derived that from my response.

                Ahh well that there’s your problem, right there.

              • Maynard J

                Talk tough until someone points out you’re full of shit eh big bruv? Coward.

            • Armchair Critic

              “… I really want to know why…it is better for a youth to stay home on the dole than have a job that pays $400 a week…”
              Could be because youth unemployment has risen significantly over the last couple of years, and as a result there are more people than jobs.
              Perhaps you could ask the government why they think it is a good idea. If they tell you it isn’t a good idea you could ask what they plan to do about it. Hopefully you will get something sensible about stimulating the economy so there are jobs for them, rather than nonsense about making pies bigger, or a plan to reduce the dole and make crime look like a viable alternative.

              • big bruv

                Yes, youth unemployment has grown over the last couple of years, however, since the demise of youth rates we have seen that increase grow rapidly.

                There are jobs out there for youth on a youth wage, you people deny them those jobs simply because you would rather see them on the dole and vote for Labour.

                If you were genuine about getting our youth back into work you would have supported the reintroduction of youth rates, but no, you are only interested in using these kids as a way of scoring political points.

              • Armchair Critic

                Tripe for tea tonight?
                Since you have personalised this – I do not deny young people jobs and it is none of my business who they vote for.
                I’m not interested in using youths to score political points.
                You are way off topic, too, the post is about 20 hours free childcare.

              • r0b

                Increasing the minimum wage doesn’t increase unemployment.
                Abolishing the “youth wage” doesn’t increase unemployment.
                BB probably knows this, he’s just running his lines.

                Farrar vs the facts

                The lie behind the Right’s attack on wages

                Arguing with a rightie about youth minimum wages

        • Draco T Bastard

          Profit is a deadweight loss so, yes, it is a dirty word.

      • In The Know 5.1.2

        Wow – “happiness at home”; what a rosy future you have for our nation with a shift in one parent being forced to withdraw from the paid labour market and stay at home to care for their children would immediately equate with “happiness at home”!! I am stunned.

        You seem to be advocating a return to a time long gone where mother stayed home, kept house and looked after the children and be happy and contented in all she does, presenting honourable hubby with slippers, paper and pipe as soon as he returns home after a long hard days at work. What an amazing world that must have been. Pity it didn’t work in reality … lashings with wooden spoons, the jug cord, stressed and fighting parents and scared and unhappy children.

        Oh my gosh, I sure have missed out on such happiness and my children, who are intelligent, well educated, well socialised, very happy, well adjusted young adults, have also missed out on me staying home to bring them up … I think not!

        • big bruv

          “You seem to be advocating a return to a time long gone where mother stayed home, kept house and looked after the children and be happy and contented in all she does”

          Sounds like a reasonable idea to me, imagine that, a parent being home when the kids returned from school.

          No little brats running rampant on our streets, kids being supervised as to what they eat after school, hell, some of them might even be able to play organised sport and do something about child obesity.

          “presenting honourable hubby with slippers, paper and pipe as soon as he returns home after a long hard days at work. What an amazing world that must have been. Pity it didn’t work in reality”

          Except that is did work perfectly well for generation after generation, it seems to me that some mothers just find kids to be nothing more than a fashion accessory and once that novelty wears off, a pain in the backside.
          If you do not want to take responsibility for your own kids then do not have any, it is NOT my job to pay for their upkeep or their day care.

          • freedom

            “i for one am interested to know what is your obviously highly esteemed contribution of labour to our society big bruv?”

            still waiting big bruv, you happily slang off whole swathes of the workforce, regularly singling out the lowest paid, yet seem reticent to offer a simple answer to a simple question about your own employment. Only asking for a general statement of occupation. Perhaps you are not as necessary as you think you are and realise publicly admitting it might show you up for the parasitic growth i suspect you to be.

            • big bruv


              I am just a worker, one who has done so for thirty years, in that time I have employed people, been an employee and enjoyed both.

              Unlike those on the left I have never been under any misapprehension as to my value or worth to those outside of my immediate family.

              I grudgingly pay tax, quite a lot of it in the past few years and hate nearly every cent of what is stolen from me given that Labour and National waste so much of it, I detest working so many hours to see my money being given to the real parasites who cannot be bothered looking for a job.

              I can understand why you are so upset at my calling them parasites Freedom, these are the people you rely on to gain votes, you are happy to steal my money and give it to these low life in exchange for a vote.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I have never been under any misapprehension as to my value or worth

                Considering that the people you for are the ones stealing from you it seems that you really don’t have any idea of what you’re worth.

          • A Nonny Moose

            Big Bruv, you are nothing but a sexist pig.

            I’m sure you expect this “stay at home parent” to be the “good little woman” because they don’t have the brains or the ability to be the sole provider.

        • Bored

          Hi ITK,

          I would advocate strongly on behalf of children that one parent stay at home rather than work in the paid workforce, that their contribution be adequately recognised and valued by society. I would also advocate a living wage earned by one person that could provide for two plus children.

          What I will not advocate is that it is specifically a female role, that is to devalue male parenting too greatly. I wish to hell that I had been able to chose to be the one to stay at home and do what I regard as far more valuable use of time than climbing some career ladder. If anybody wants the luxury of doing both good luck to them.

    • felix 5.2

      There’s that “fap fap fap” sound again…

      • Bored 5.2.1

        Rather than fapping give it a go. I just did the numbers quickly and went to the IRD site, checked tax bracket, WFF etc interesting result, basically a low income family can work for sweet f.a. with two workers, or one can work and they get very marginally less of sweet f.a.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    If he had any sense he would, at worst, cut it down to 10 hours free. Nixxing it all together is going to piss off a lot of parents.

  7. HitchensFan 7

    oh bring it on national, another nail in your sorry coffin hopefully.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      At this rate, they are doing such a fantastic job that there won’t be even any space left on their coffin to sink another nail in

      That would be fine .. but they have also taken the nation into the coffin

  8. Finance Minister Bill English says the cost of early childhood education has trebled in the past six years

    Of course it has. This is during the time that the free 20 hours was brought in by the last Labour Government.

    Good attempted manufacture of a crisis there Bill. Of course we should take away education for kids and give the uber wealthy a tax cut instead.

  9. vidiot 9

    20 hours a week free – my arse. If that was the case, why do I pay additional $$$ for my daughter to attend a local kindy, when she’s only there for 9 hours a week ?

  10. tc 10

    Crikey if this is foreplay imagine the shafting the budget conjugals will deliver…..bend over lower demographics here comes the national your parents will remember well.

  11. Ianmac 11

    Sue Maroney asked about the 20 hours today in Question Time. The answer was that there would NOT be any cuts in the 20 hours.
    The Budget will have already been written so we will wait and see.

    • Strathen 11.1

      Seems the only people talking of cutting the 20 hours are Labour and the commentators here.

      I’d like to see a quote, rather than speculation, where anyone from National has said they’re cutting the 20 hours. Happy to be proved wrong.

      • Armchair Critic 11.1.1

        “Happy to be proved wrong.”
        ‘cos National wouldn’t say one thing and do another, would they?

  12. Herodotus 12

    So when did families have choice.
    Our tax system treats earners as individuals yet the welfare state for entitlements treats families. How can those of a previous regime comment on how families are suffering, when those families that have only one income earner are treated with greater severity than those with dual earners on a similare gross income. As WFF is based on family earning, yet with one earner the family has a greater tax burden. But gets no additional assistance but must survive on less. There was no meaniful comments when milk products sky rocketed along with petrol (assisted with govt increase duty and GST), interest rates, power and many other essestials.
    “20 discounted hours” like “free” heathcare for under 6’s (Thanks Winny) I think gives some token guestures to what we as Kiwis value.
    Perhaps one day we will get a party that gives a damn, but there are none around at the moment, all we are served: contemptuous platitudes.

  13. dave 13

    I’d like to see a quote, rather than speculation, where anyone from National has said they’re cutting the 20 hours

    There isn’t one. So you won’t see one.

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