The Green Party has today announced a new Income Guarantee for every New Zealander.
“Our Income Guarantee will give everyone peace of mind that they can always afford the weekly shop, pay the rent, or cover unexpected costs – even when times are tough,” says Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson.
“The Income Guarantee is a commitment to every New Zealander that no matter what, your income will never fall below $385 per week, after tax. For couples, our Income Guarantee will be at least $770, and a single parent will always have an income of at least $735.
“It will work by cutting taxes for people on the lowest incomes, making sure anyone out of work or studying has enough to live on, topping-up the incomes for those raising tamariki, and making sure there is extra help for anyone who is sick or disabled.
“The Income Guarantee is fully funded through fair and simple changes to the tax system that unlock the resources we need. Every dollar will come from those most able to contribute, while those on the lowest incomes will pay less. Overall, the Ending Poverty Plan will result in tax cuts of between $16 and $26 a week for 3.7 million New Zealanders.
“The Income Guarantee means families will always have enough kai, or to buy the shoes and warm clothes that children need. Students will no longer have to skip meals to make ends meet and can focus on their study. And if something happens that stops people from working, there is a guaranteed income that’s enough to live on.
“It is a transformational new way of doing income support that will lift every family out of poverty,” says Marama Davidson.
Green Party Co-leader James Shaw added:
“It should not be the case that in a wealthy country like ours there are thousands of people who cannot afford to put food on the table, or where kids have to take days off school just so they can work to help their families cover the basics. But for hundreds of thousands of our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, this is what life looks like.
“What we do to prioritise the lives and livelihoods of those who need our support the most should be the measure of every political party. In fact, I would argue that any party that stops short of promising to lift every family out of poverty, is actively choosing to make life harder for thousands of people.
“I am sick of the politics of excuses. Everything we need to make life better for people in Aotearoa exists. What’s missing is the political willpower to use it. The time is now to lift every single family out of poverty and to pay for it with a fair tax system.
“Our fully costed plan will make sure everyone can pay the bills, put food on the table, and keep the house warm,“ says James Shaw.
The Green Party will guarantee a decent income for all - at least $385 for individuals, $770 for couples, and $735 for a single parent.
The Income Guarantee will be achieved through:
- A tax-free threshold of $10,000. Anyone earning under $125,000 will pay less tax as a result of the Ending Poverty Together plan
- A payment of $385 to anyone out of work or studying - with an extra $135 each week for people caring for kids on their own
Replacing Working for Families with a single payment for parents or caregivers of $215 every week for the first child, and $135 a week for every other child, with an extra $140 a week for every child under three years.
- The abatement threshold will be increased from the current $42,700 to $60,000 so people can earn more before their payments start being reduced
- The abatement rate will change to 18% from the current 27% to ensure the payments reduce at a much slower rate
- Transforming ACC into an Agency of Comprehensive Care so if anyone has to stop working, they will receive a minimum payment of 80% of the full-time minimum wage
The Income Guarantee is fully funded through simple changes to the tax system:
- A 2.5% Wealth Tax on assets - things like properties or shares - worth more than $4 million (minus mortgages and other debt) for couples and $2 million (minus mortgages and other debt) for individuals. This will not affect most family homes or retirement savings
- A Trust Tax of 1.5% so people cannot just move their money into a trust to avoid the Wealth Tax
- A new top rate of income tax of 45% on income over $180,000, so the top earners contribute more
- A new corporate tax rate of 33%, returning corporate tax to what it was before National came into government in 2008.