Wednesday 26 April 2017

Please stop insulting working parents with token supports

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

It seems the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone is either not aware or indifferent that the net financial impact on families opting to have a stay-at-home parent is similar to that of childcare fees - as indeed it often is.

Take, for example, a couple earning €32,000 and €23,000 before having children. Their net household income after tax is approaching €47,000. After having one child, if they both continue to work full-time, their net household income after tax and créche fees is €36,000. If the mother leaves her job to care for her child at home, the family's net income after tax is €29,000.

Increasing the home carer tax credit as proposed will improve this family's very stretched finances by all of €16 per month (enough for two packs of nappies!). At the same time, 10 or 20 times that amount per family is being discussed to help with childcare fees. Let's stop insulting parents by pretending that this token gesture supports, in any meaningful way, their choice to stay at home and care for their own children.

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