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Dunne goes to bat for struggling NZ families

Wednesday, 12 May 2004

Dunne goes to bat for struggling NZ families

United Future leader Peter Dunne today laid out a comprehensive programme to ease the financial burden on the average working New Zealand family.

He told Parliament that families on a income between about $50,000 and $80,000 – “not a high level of income” – with one child had many transfer payments, such as child tax credits, family support and parental tax credits, cutting out when the family income rose above $33,000.

If that income was the sole income of one partner and above $60,000, rather than the combined income of the couple, it would be taxed at the top rate of 39%, even though it is just the average household income.

And many such families, he said, would also be servicing student loans, which would cost about $3500 annually.

Mr Dunne said United Future was promoting the idea of splitting the family income for tax purposes, which would leave the average family around $3000 a year better off.

He said such a system would also do away with the complexities of transfer payments and other forms of family assistance.

And if the average family was supporting a tertiary students, then when the parental income exceeded $28,000 a year, every student under the age of 25 would have their students allowance abated.

“That’s absurd and must be changed,” Mr Dunne said.

He called for a bonding arrangement that would see graduates working in New Zealand while their student debt was reducing.

Mr Dunne said these struggling middle income families’ biggest investment was in their homes, and that their property rates could be cut by almost 12.5% by removing GST from rates.

Ends

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