READER REPORT:

Hubby's raise made us $150/wk poorer

Last updated 05:30 03/03/2014
money
WHAT PAYRISE?: When her husband got a pay rise at work, Debra Bain's family lost $150 per week.

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I am a married mum of two children aged 5 and 4.

My 5-year-old is at school and in a before and after school care programme and my 4-year-old is in full time in day care.

Neither my husband nor I smoke or drink, we eat relatively healthy and we don't buy a lot of extras. We own a house and have the normal bills, but without both of us working, we would not be able to survive. This is the case for so many families these days.

I love my family, but I love to work. I work because I want to, but also because I have to - this is frowned upon by society, but is becoming more of the norm, thanks to the cost of living and the thresholds in place for subsidies and other financial support for parents.

Until recently, I was a person that was able to take advantage of the financial assistance that was offered to those under the threshold. We were able to live with a little room to breathe, but now we have gone back ten steps.

My husband received a pay rise at the beginning of this year. We should be jumping for joy as this is something that is hard to come by, but instead of jumping for joy, I was rejigging budgets and making cuts to spending. With this pay increase we moved over the threshold for the daycare subsidy, and  the before and after school programme subsidies, and were instantly $150 a week poorer. There goes the payrise and some.

As for Working for Families, my husband and I learnt the hard way that it is best to get that money at the end of the tax year so that IRD/WINZ have all your income information and you only get what you are entitled to. Otherwise you can end up with a massive bill.

Now the only thing we are entitled to is the 20 hours free early childhood education, and for that we are thankful.

I still consider us lucky, as we are able to make it work and there is a light at the end of the tunnel as our daughter starts school at the end of the year, but I feel for families just starting out on this road.

I understand that the thresholds are there for a reason, but I honestly believe that they need to be reviewed.

If only the theshold limits were based on what your receive in your bank account and not what the gross amount is, even that would make a huge difference to so many families around New Zealand.

Please understand that this is only my opinion on the matter and you may not agree, and I respect that, but please also respect that there are families out there that are really struggling and that should make everyone think about how we can help make that situation better.


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