What are our values?

Currently, our taxation system does not reflect the fact that a family is generally a single economic unit.  The taxation system does not recognise that the income of a family unity is shared amongst the entire household.

Income sharing is therefore a way we can attach equal value to the role each parent plays in building a family where there is a significant income disparity between partners.

Income sharing will give couples with children greater flexibility in deciding whether they want to stay at home with young children more frequently or work fewer of more flexible hours.

Couples who are self-employed in farming or business and retired couples are already able to split their income for tax purposes but this is not available for those on PAYE incomes.

The Government already subsidises childcare for those returning to paid work, it should also acknowledge the contribution of those who have decided to forgo their income in order to invest in raising their families.

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What will we do?
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Provide choice and support for families:

We would introduce income sharing for couples with dependent children. Income sharing means that, for tax purposes, the income of both parents is combined. Income sharing also gives parents the option of working fewer or more flexible hours while still keeping more of their combined after-tax income.

  • Allow couples with dependant children under 18 to split income equally between  partners for tax purposes;
  • give parents greater choice in their work and caring roles;
  • acknowledge the contributions of those who forego paid work to care for children;
  • give families with children additional financial support.
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Paid Parental leave:

The early months of a child’s life are incredibly important to their future well-being, and the role the child’s parents play during this period is crucial. We would extend paid parental leave to ensure every parent has the opportunity to spend as much time as possible with their children during this time, and we would make parental leave arrangements flexible enough to suit all circumstances.

  • Extend paid parental leave to 13 months, available to either partner;
  • Allow the current 14 weeks to be transferred to a partner.
What we've done?
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Paid Parental Leave:

  • Ensured that the paid parental leave scheme will be extended from 1 April 2006 to provide for 14 weeks income replacement to women who have been self-employed for at least six months immediately preceding the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Supported the increase of paid parental leave in 2016 (vetoed by the government).
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Supporting families:

  • Established the Families Commission, which will ensure that all government legislation will be tested for its impact on families.
  • Ensured that Family Support payments and family tax credits are indexed to the cost of living from 1 April 2004.
  • Secured another $230,000 over the next two years to extend the social workers in schools programme (2004 Budget).
  • Convinced the government to take the first steps towards improvements in family income assistance as part of the 2003 Budget, comprising $59 million over four years.
  • Contributed to the extension of the government’s Working for Families 2004 budget package to middle-income families, and the creation of a gap between working families and those on a welfare benefit through the in-work payment; over $1.1 billion per annum when fully implemented.
  • Secured a $47 million boost for early intervention programmes aimed at children and families in greatest need, including Family Start, and parenting education and support (2005 Budget).
  • Ensured that the government is increasing funding for the Orphans’/Unsupported Child’s Benefit by $8 million, as part of the Working for Families package (2005 Budget).
  • Helped family members, such as grandparents, facing legal costs with regard to assuming guardianship of children by supporting changes to legal aid eligibility income thresholds to increase the number of New Zealanders who are potentially eligible for legal aid to 1.2 million, up from the current 765,000 (2005 Budget).
  • Secured $6.2 million over the next four years to run nationwide education programmes through the Family Court to help separating parents reduce conflict and the stress that separation can cause for their children (2005 Budget).

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