Media Release 11 Sep 2013
An independent poll has found strong support for income splitting, despite the bill proposing it being put on the ‘back shelf’ by politicians. Half of respondents also believe it is better for pre-school children to be cared for at home.
In the poll of 1,000 NZ’ers by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked whether they agreed with the statement “A married couple should be able to split their income between them, for tax purposes, so that a couple with say one spouse earning $80,000 would pay the same tax as a couple where both spouses work and earn $40,000 each”.
76% of respondents support income splitting for tax purposes. Support was greater amongst males than females, with no difference between those in high deprivation and low deprivation areas. National voters were the strongest supporters.
“The Taxation (Income-sharing Tax Credit) Bill was reported back from the Select Committee way back in March 2011 – yet there has been no sign of a 2nd Reading. Why won’t the government give families a choice, and why won’t they give families a tax break?” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Income splitting allows families to make important work-life balance decisions without being financially penalised to the extent that they are when assessed individually. As property and welfare (including Working for Families) is assessed on a family unit – assessment of tax should also be on this basis. It is a fairer system and acknowledges the interdependence of the family unit.”
The survey also found support for pre-school age children being cared for at home as opposed to a childcare centre.
Respondents were asked whether they agreed with the statement “It is better for children at pre-school age to be cared for at home by a parent or relative, rather than be in a childcare centre.” Just on half (49%) agreed, with 38% disagreeing and the remaining 13% unsure or refusing to say. The strongest support came from the Maori party, NZ First and Conservative party voters, with little difference amongst males and females, and between high and low deprivation areas.
“Income splitting sends an important societal message that we value the choice of parents to raise their children full-time. For too long, the message has been that mums and dads should let the ‘professionals’ educate their young kids in day care, and parents – particularly mums – should get out and get a real job,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First is calling on the Government to prioritise the income splitting bill on their legislative programme. The nationwide poll was carried out earlier this month and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.