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Australia leaves us behind again

Since 1st January 2011, financial support for Australian parents of newborns has become far more generous than that offered in New Zealand.

Paid Parental Leave in Australia is paid at a higher level, over a longer time, and with broader coverage. In addition, those who do not qualify for Paid Parental Leave have access to a generous Baby Bonus payment.

While Australia recognises the importance of a parent’s links to the labour market, the emphasis is on the beneficial role that parental leave has on the full development of all children, and the investment in the future workforce.

In stark contrast, New Zealand’s Paid Parental Leave and the Parental Tax Credit both have narrow work requirements. The resulting inequities reflect the different nature of the discourse in New Zealand surrounding financial support for children. Unlike Australia, New Zealand’s parental leave and parental tax policy lack a child focus. It is based not on the needs of all young children but on whether parents’ paid work contributions qualify them as ‘deserving’.

When is New Zealand going to cast off its judgmental Victorian ethos and join Australia in facing the needs of the 21st century?

 

Download the media release (pdf) here

Contact: Susan St John 0275364536 s.stjohn@auckland.ac.nz

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