The Greens – Budget for All Mothers

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, May 22nd, 2017 - 33 comments
Categories: child welfare, greens, quality of life - Tags: , , , , ,

A major policy announcement from The Greens over the weekend:

Budget for All Mothers

The Green Party wants to help parents when they need it the most, by ensuring they have time and money to focus on raising happy, healthy kids

Too many parents in Aotearoa are struggling to pay the bills and juggle work and family commitments. We want every single Kiwi kid to have a great start in life – regardless of what their parents earn or whether they work or not. To make that a reality, their parents need more time, more financial support, and more flexible work arrangements. Well-supported kids turn into happy and healthy adults.

Our Budget for all Mothers will help by:

  • Making the $220 per week Parental Tax Credit available to all families who don’t get paid parental leave. This ensures every baby born in New Zealand gets the same support and makes the system simpler.
  • Extend sick leave to be a minimum of 10 days a year, so that parents and whanau have time to look after sick kids
  • Ensuring the OSCAR subsidy for after school and holiday programmes is available to all kids from low-income families.
  • Give every new born baby a Wahakura – Baby Pod, which includes a safe sleeping place as well as clothes, nappies and bedding

Read on for more, also here (pdf) and here (pdf).

Coverage:
Greens unveil families policy, pods and universal parental tax credits
Greens make election pitch to parents
‘Budget for all mothers’ – Greens election promise of $220 per week for Kiwi families

From the first of those links:

The parental tax credit helps with the costs of a new baby for the first 10 weeks after its born. However, those who are receiving an income‑tested benefit, student allowance or pension would not be entitled.

Under the Greens policy, these groups would be eligible as they would not be on paid parental leave. The extended tax credits was expected to cost $43m per year.

Extending OSCAR subsidies could cost between $15m and $30m, depending on uptake, Turei said.

The Greens package was based on the model rolled out in Finland – where they’ve been rolling out newborn starter kits with the sleeping box and essentials, for 75 years.

With the provision of the pod and essential baby items, Finland found more lower income mothers were seeking out medical professionals earlier in the pregnancy and infant death rates dropped dramatically. From 65 out of every 1000 in the 1930s, to fewer than 10 in 2010.

Surely no “data driven” “social investment” party could be opposed?

33 comments on “The Greens – Budget for All Mothers”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Of course the National Party will oppose this: their entire political philosophy is founded on blame, prejudice, and punishment.

    It’s good to see yet another ‘no-brainer’ policy from the Greens though. What a pity such sensible suggestions are too often written off as extremism.

    • heman 1.1

      could not have said it better myself.

      Also, they are currently abstaining from a bill in parliament to sell a public reserve, because it conflicts with their other values. I would have thought that their green values cam first, but not so!

      They leave me very confused!!

      • Nick 1.1.1

        Heman… There’s probably a good reason for abstaining, do you have any idea what there issue is?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2

        …seeking significant improvements on the Bill through a series of amendments isn’t quite the same as abstaining, eh.

        Are you sure it’s confusion you’re suffering from?

        • heman 1.1.2.1

          this is their full stance on it. after first reading it I thought how can they not oppose.
          https://blog.greens.org.nz/2017/04/12/an-almighty-mess-in-the-making/

          My take on it is that they are being sold it as a treaty settlement which is not, or very barely. They oppose it for all their green values that the bill tramples on but the small treaty settlement element weighs heavier in their values or in the current caucus and that and they will abstain, where they will hope to make more substantial amendments.

          The barely treaty settlement part of it, I am not sure if National are being very cunning putting it in there. It would not surprise me.

          To me the green values are heavier than the treaty values, after having read the bill. And given my understanding I would have thought they would/should be opposing until substantial amendments can be made. But again that is just my take.

          Apologies I did not want to come across as anti-Green. But my confusion was probably due to me not realising how big their treaty values were compared to what I thought were their core green values. And I am not sure if this is more a reflection of the current make up of the existing caucus.

  2. saveNZ 2

    Sounds good.

  3. Craig H 3

    Great policies. Nats will no doubt complain about the “burden” imposed on employers by the additional sick leave, but what always strikes me with these sorts of policies is how cheap they are given the scale of the budget, and yet they aren’t already happening. Social investment indeed!

    I’d like to see ACC extended to include sickness at some point, but 10 days sick leave as a minimum is a good start.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      The good thing about government imposed rules, is that all businesses have to follow them. So that helps to make it more of a level playing field affect as all have to bear ‘the burden’ equally of the 10 days sick leave etc, or at least till the immigrants, and devious locals who choose not to comply are inspected and sorted.

  4. Tarquin 4

    Not a bad idea if they paid the $220 in vouchers that could only be used for the child.

    • weka 4.1

      Which completely and utterly misses the point of the policy. Unless you think the baby is going to be looking after itself.

    • McFlock 4.2

      Ok Tarquin,

      you’ve come up with the new system of vouchers and a prescribed range of child-related expenses.

      Now if you tell us why we should waste money on it, with evidence that it addresses a systemic issue (rather than “I read in the paper that one mother…” or “a friend of mine spent it all on fags while the child starved to death, and I did nothing about this neglect”), you might have a grown-up policy suggestion.

      A fucked-up policy suggestion, but at least a grown-up one, too.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      So, you’re going to be accepting of the government telling you how and where to spend your money as well?

    • greywarshark 4.4

      Tarquin
      It appears you doubt that all adults who are parents cannot be trusted to manage their finances and duties as best they can. You think that they are going to stay home and sit at the computer with a beer and ciggie, typing inane comments on blogs I suppose? Similar to yourself.

  5. Tarquin 5

    Weka, I think it’s a good idea. Investing in the child’s future from day one will pay dividends later in life. Direct payments are the best use of taxpayers money. Vouchers ensure the money goes where it should go. What point have I missed?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      The point where “your” voucher “policy” idea” has been tried somewhere and succeeded better than simply increasing peoples’ income.

      Because it doesn’t, so why are you still promoting this failed failure of a failing?

    • weka 5.2

      “What point have I missed?”

      That the policy is to support mothers so they can be good mothers. Hence the money goes to the mother.

  6. Tarquin 6

    Why would the government want to tell me how to spend my money? I pay plenty in taxes to the government and expect them to hand it out in a way that gets the best value. If you take money from the government for a specific purpose you should spend it on that and that alone. I don’t think they should be compulsory so don’t get too worried.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Why would the government want to tell me how to spend my money?

      You seem to think that they should tell others how to spend their money so obviously you think that the government should tell you how to spend your money.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      I don’t think they should be compulsory

      What? Failed ideas that have been proven not to work? What will the National Party do for policy?

    • McFlock 6.3

      any reason you can’t use the reply tab?

      • Tarquin 6.3.1

        Sorry about that. Flurry of replies and a failure to process. I know not many around here agree with my voucher idea, but I think it would work and and get good bang for your buck. They had a similar scheme in England years ago. It was universal (I think – trying to remember) and they scrapped it because they were giving out too much to those with no needs.

        [You find a link to that claim (universal voucher scheme) or enjoy a one year ban for being a right wing troll of the idiot variety.] – Bill

        • McFlock 6.3.1.1

          What do you mean “it would work”?

          Show that there’s a problem to solve. The parental tax credit is for 10 weeks, so 2200 per child. 60k children born a year, that’s 132mil per year.

          Not exactly going to break the bank, and any targeting could well be more trouble than it’s worth.

        • Wayne 6.3.1.2

          Bill,

          I know it your blog, but seriously a ban of a year?

          • Robert Guyton 6.3.1.2.1

            Tarquin’s comments curdle the milk of human kindness.
            Make it two: one year can keep the other warm, a good lesson for the cold-hearted Tarquin 🙂

    • weka 6.4

      “Why would the government want to tell me how to spend my money? ”

      Dude, you just said that parents shouldn’t be able to spend their money how they want and instead the govt should give them vouchers with pre-approved things it can be spent on. Hypocrite much?

      • Tarquin 6.4.1

        It’s our money not theirs. He who pays the piper should be able to call the tune. I call it targeting and getting value for money. Don’t like it? Don’t take it. If I was accepting welfare I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

        [See above – and going in moderation until link provided] – Bill

        • weka 6.4.1.1

          Yes, it is *our money. So why are you going on about it being *your money?

  7. Brigid 7

    I’m waiting for the “but if the employer is expected to pay 10 days sick leave, it may put their business in peril”

    The answer is of course, if the employer cant provide 10 days sick leave and stay solvent, the business isn’t viable.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Brigid
      I’m glad you brought that point up. Lots of business claims and whines despite NZ supposed to be the best and quickest place to set up. Then again, that may well be the reason for business whines, the huge amount of competition especially from larger predatory NZ or overseas owned entities.

      Competition requires the goldilocks effect, not too little and not too much. Too much forces margins down and that impacts on suppliers wellbeing, and generally results in cheaper stock that is of lesser quality.

  8. Tarquin 8

    Fill your boots Bill.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_benefit
    It was a while ago, but fairly much how I thought it went.

    [Nothing at all on vouchers in a UK context.] – Bill

    • weka 8.1

      I can’t see the word voucher in that link. Cut and paste the bit you mean, it’s not the moderator’s job to do the legwork on this.

      And use the Reply button, this is getting tedious.

      • Tarquin 8.1.1

        You’re right, I can’t find it either. I’ll do a bit more research and get back – it did exist.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          When you fail to find a voucher scheme that got better results than simple income assistance, you will cling to your false bullshit belief even harder.

          That’s right; knowing the facts, you will reject them and clutch your blankie instead. I’m saying you’re weak-minded and unable to deal with reality.

          Just remember: everything else you believe is bullshit too.

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