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Alliance Will Reinstate Universal Family Benefit

Monday July 1 2002

The Alliance is committed to a universal family benefit paid to every family for every child, and will cut the taxes of those on the lowest incomes, Alliance leader Laila Harré announced today.

Speaking at a UNICEF Forum on children and family violence in Auckland today, Laila Harré said the Alliance will abolish the “deeply discriminatory” Child Tax Credit and replace it with a non means tested universal family benefit, to be funded by a progressive tax system.

“The $15 a week Child Tax Credit is a payment you miss out on if you’re too poor, and lose if you’re too rich, and by too rich we’re talking a household income of $27,000 a year,” she said.

“Targeting support to children through means testing leads is punitive, costs money and makes it hard to for people to get what they are entitled to.

“Unless there is a fully resourced, unequivocal and courageous campaign to put children and their families at the top of the budget agenda then it’s not children that will miss out – it’s New Zealand.”

Laila Harré also reinforced the Alliance’s commitment to repealing Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

“The Alliance has spent three years on the inside pushing for this and I believe we are almost there. I guarantee parents that this will not mean they will be hauled in front of the courts for trivial technical assaults. We will make sure of that.”

The Alliance also wants increased funding for the implementation of Te Rito – the Family Violence Prevention Strategy released in February this year, she said.

Ends

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