“Large numbers of lower earners and sole parents miss out entirely under Labour’s lucky dip childcare policy, while those that it does apply to will find it doesn’t even cover inflation,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Instead of sending money to foreigners and dead peoples’ bank accounts like they did with the cost of living payment, this time Labour’s ‘targeted’ support doesn’t go to many families who need it most. The following parents receive no extra support under the changes:

• Income $51,234-$67,912 with one child

• Income $59,020-$78,104 with two children

• Income $66,092-$87,204 with three children

“While lots of parents get nothing, those receiving the highest level of support are still in a worse position financially than they were when Labour came to office. The highest level of support available gets a 13 per cent increase, but in the past five years of Labour there has been 13.5 per cent cumulative wage growth and 18.6 per cent cumulative inflation. This policy is just an adjustment to make up for the inflation caused by Labour’s economic mismanagement.

“This policy is actually going to leave many families worse off. The Office of Early Childhood Education told TVNZ Breakfast that the subsidy will be absorbed by higher fees, those who receive the subsidy might be able to account for price rises but the many families not eligible find themselves in an even tougher situation.

“There is a fairer way to support Kiwis struggling with the cost of living. Under ACT’s fully costed tax changes from our alternative budget a sole parent with two children earning $70,000 would save $2,276. Under Labour they receive nothing.

“ACT’s Alternative Budget for Real Change shows how the Government could reduce spending without touching any frontline service, and then deliver significant tax cuts to middle income New Zealanders. This is the fairest way to help Kiwis with the cost of living crisis. They get to keep more of their money to use as they see fit and everyone benefits.

“If Ardern really wanted to help with childcare, she’d let more teachers into the country. Instead, by giving subsidies to a few, they’ll push up prices for everyone else.

“It’s time to end the pantomime policies that don’t help the cost of living. The Government needs to start thinking practically about what will tackle the cost of living crisis and help Kiwi families that are struggling to get by. This policy isn’t going to do it.”

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