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John and Don at odds over Working for Families

19 July 2005

John and Don at odds over Working for Families

National's contradictory statements on the Working for Families package are a reminder it can't be trusted to look after the best interests of families, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

"In the last week alone we've had John and Don at odds over National's plans for Working for Families," Steve Maharey said.

John began the year saying many middle income New Zealanders would get less from the Working for Families package under National This month we have John saying National would keep the In-Work payment – the key element of the package still to be rolled out. On Friday, Don told a Hawkes Bay audience National would keep the Working for Families package Yesterday, John did another u-turn, saying that major changes to the package would only be announced once National was in power.

"Confused? I'm sure the majority of New Zealanders are."

Steve Maharey said National could not be trusted to deliver for New Zealand families.

"Working for Families is the most significant initiative in decades to tackle child poverty, make work pay and support working families.

"It's time for National to front-up and reveal what they plan do with the package, and to confirm whether they could still deliver an extra $100 a week in tax relief to families earning between $25,000 and $45,000.

"On one hand keeping the second half of the package would commit them to half a billion a year in spending - closing off yet another option to help pay for tax cuts.

"On the other hand they're unwilling to front up and tell New Zealanders that the tax-relief and childcare assistance offered by this package would be among the first casualties of National's hugely expensive tax cuts."

ENDS

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