The Green Party’s Income Guarantee could be a central pillar of the “social floor” recommended today by the Productivity Commission.
“Hundreds of thousands of people across Aotearoa are struggling every day to afford life’s essentials. There’s a clear and immediate solution and that’s an Income Guarantee paid for with a fair tax on the wealthiest few,” says the Green Party spokesperson for social development, Ricardo Menéndez March.
“A Fair Chance for All, released today by the Productivity Commission shines a light on the failure of successive governments to make sure everyone can always afford the basics – even when times are tough. It is a detailed study of the persistent drivers of poverty that no government in Aotearoa’s history has even been bold enough to tackle head on.
“Peel back the layers and layers of data presented in the report, and what you will find are families shivering at home, children going to bed hungry, and young people balancing school with working upwards of 20 or thirty hours a week to support their families.
“These are the real stories of what it means to live in “persistent disadvantage” and every single one is unacceptable. The Government has all the tools it needs to lift every single family out of poverty and our Income Guarantee is the way to do it.
“The Productivity Commission makes clear that an adequate income is essential for making sure people can meet their basic needs. And that’s what our Income Guarantee is: a commitment to every person in Aotearoa 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.
“95% of people will pay less tax under the Income Guarantee and parents or caregivers’ will get the support they need with a top-up of up to $215 every week for the first child, and $135 a week for every other child. Plus, an additional universal top-up of $140 a week for every child under three.
“The Productivity Commission has today added to the piles and piles of evidence we have had for decades about the devastating consequences of persistent poverty. The time is now to do something about it,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.