Call for tax deductible nannies
NANNIES should be made tax deductible as part of a plan to give new mums and dads more choices on whether to stay at home with the kids or go back to work, according to a rising government Senator from Queensland.
LNP Senator Amanda Stoker said it would not only make it easier for mums wanting to get back into the workforce to do so, it would boost Australia's flagging fertility rate, while cracking down on the cash-in-hand black economy of nannies.
It would be part of a broader plan, which would include new tax arrangements which would encourage mums or dads who want to stay at home with the kids to do so, by allowing them to be taxed on their combined household income, instead of as individuals.
The number of babies born per woman in Australia has fallen in the past decade from 1.87 children to 1.78, while it has fallen from almost 3 children in the 1970s.
The Turnbull Government previously ran a nanny pilot program, which ended this month, but only subsidised costs to a maximum of $8.50 per hour, reducing to $5 per hour for higher income families.
Senator Stoker said making hiring a nanny tax deductible would help professional couples, as well as shift workers and people working odd hours.
"We have a really low birth rate coming from particularly educated women. It shouldn't be that a woman has to choose between a great career and family," she said.
"It would take a sector that I suspect is largely black economy into being on the books."
She said there should also be incentives offered for families which chose to have one parent stay at home to raise the children, such as allowing them to be taxed at a rate based on their combined income, rather than as individuals.
"Then there's some tax benefit offered to families that decide to make the sacrifice of having one parent at home," Senator Stoker said.
"We need to be open to ways to offer as much choice as is possible for families to being involved in their children's lives with having a meaningful work lives too.
"We are always offering real choice for families about how they want to live life according to their values."