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Government Should Come Clean on New Tax Grab

Government Should Come Clean on New Tax Grab

Thursday 1 Nov 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT Social Services Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today that the Government should be owning up to beneficiaries and the working poor that it is cutting their collective incomes by over $7 million a year.

"The blandly-named Child Support Amendment Bill, which is going through its third Parliamentary reading today, should in fact be called the Cutting Benefits Bill - because that's what it does in effect," Dr Newman said.

The Bill increases the minimum payment required of parents liable for child support from $10 a week to $12.75 a week - an increase of $143 a year. The majority of the parents paying the minimum amount are on benefits. The Government's projecting it will collect an extra $7.5 million in the 2002-03 financial year.

"What we have here is a cash-strapped Government desperate to increase revenue by whatever means necessary. But this is very underhand. The bill is described as a catch-up measure. Nowhere has the Government said that it will be cutting benefits and lowering the incomes of the working poor.

"I also found it extremely interesting that the Government rapidly promoted this Bill from number 19 on the order paper to the top - so that it could debate it in the House last night when most of the news media were either organising or attending a Parliamentary Press Gallery function.

"The Labour Party draws much of its support from beneficiaries and the working poor. It doesn't have the guts to tell them that a) It isn't doing anything to help them and b) It is actually making them poorer.

"I would say to Steve Maharey and his Government - own up, admit what this Bill is really for and let the beneficiaries and working poor know the truth," Dr Newman said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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