The Green Party has released a plan today to ensure no New Zealander will live in poverty, whether they are working or on a benefit.
The families package, announced today at the Party’s AGM, will increase all benefits by 20 percent, boost Working For Families and raise the minimum wage. It will lift the incomes of more than 500,000 low and middle income Kiwi families. It also removes all financial penalties and excessive sanctions that beneficiaries currently face.
Tax reform will ensure everyone who earns less than $150,000 a year is better off, by reducing the bottom tax rate to 9 percent and putting in place a new top tax rate of 40 percent on income over $150,000.
“These are the most significant changes to our welfare system in a generation,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“Our plan will lift people out of poverty and guarantee a basic, liveable income for anyone working or on a benefit.
“These changes will make a huge difference to the 190,000 thousand Kiwi kids whose families rely on a benefit to get by, and to all working families struggling to make ends meet.
“We will end the punitive culture at MSD, which punishes people through benefit sanctions, abatements and investigations. Rather than providing people with ‘incentives’, it traps them in a cycle of poverty and puts children’s wellbeing at risk.
“We believe that poverty should never be used as a weapon, especially when children are involved.
“Our plan to mend the safety net will ensure that all families in New Zealand can afford to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head and pay their power bill.
“Working For Families has been slowly undermined after nine years of National, and our plan will help low income families, by increasing the value of Working For Families and lowering the bottom tax rate.
“Our social safety net should provide effective support for people who need it, while they need it. The Green Party in government will make this a priority,” said Mrs Turei.
Outcomes of the welfare, Working for Families, and tax reform package include:
- A sole parent on a benefit, with two school-age children, and no paid employment: $179.62 better off every week.
- A sole parent receiving the Student Allowance, with two children, and part time work on just above minimum wage: $176.15 better off every week.
- A single person receiving Jobseeker support: $42.20 better off every week.
- A two parent family, with one working parent on the median income, with three children: $104.42 better off every week.
- Two parents, both receiving Jobseeker support, with three children: $207.46 better off every week.
- A two parent family, both earning the median income of 48,000, with three children: $130.19 better off every week.
- Two parents, one in paid work earning $70,000 a year, with two children: $87.85 better off every week.