Taxing care: enhancing the childcare
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Antwerpen :Centre for Social Policy, 2010
CSB working paper ; 2010:1
University of Antwerp
This article introduces the idea of a childcare time benefit that reconciles three ambitions: to reach a high level of labour market participation, to revalue parental childcare time and to enhance the freedom to choose in the reconciliation of work and family life. The proposed benefit is based on the pattern of effective childcare time in society, that declines with the ageing of the children. This decline defines a clear path over time with increasing monetary incentives to (re)turn to the labour market. Furthermore, the benefit is unconditional and, thus, does not direct parents in their choice between parental care and care services. Simulation of first round effects of the benefit on Belgian households suggests a disincentive for life-long retreat from the labour market, while offering monetary gains for homemakers with young children. Moreover, single parents see their poverty risk decline by more than a quarter.