Human Resources News & Insights

An early look at Ivanka Trump’s paid family leave plan

Ivanka Trump may not have any official position in her father’s administration. But her paid family leave proposal is getting a lot of attention from Republicans trying to hammer out a new tax cut package.  

According to Bloomberg.com, Ivanka — herself a business owner and mother of two — recently met with members of both the House and Senate to discuss her proposed child care benefit. The estimated cost: $500 billion over the next decade.

Attorney Robin Shea, writing on Employer and Labor Insider, said the proposal revolves around tax deductions for child care expenses — parents with an annual income of less than $250,000 and couples with an income under $500,000. Lower-income families would be eligible for an earned income tax credit.

The other part of the plan would give mothers six weeks of maternity leave, paid for through state unemployment systems. Shea says the concept could be expanded to include fathers and LBGT parents who didn’t actually give birth to the child — and should that happen, it’s a short jump to including adoptive parents as well.

Expect pushback

One interesting omission in the proposal: There’s no provision for families whose income is so low they don’t pay taxes — and one can certainly make the argument that those are the people who need a child care subsidy most. Bloomberg quoted Alan Cole, an economist with the Tax Foundation:

The child care proposal is generous and broad; almost everyone with young children will get some benefit from it. However, the largest benefits will go to relatively affluent dual-income families using paid child care.

It’s pretty clear the proposal’s going to get flak from both sides of the aisle: Democrats who don’t feel the benefit would cover the truly needy and Republicans who are scared off by the cost.

But as Shea points out, “This is a work in progress. A lot is sure to change before a plan is formally presented to Congress.”

Stay tuned.

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