Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Key telling porkies on Working for Families

20 February 2014

Key telling porkies on Working for Families

Prime Minister John Key is trying to mislead the public of New Zealand over his history of cutting Working for Families payments to families, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

On Radio New Zealand’s ‘Nine to Noon’ show this morning, Mr Key defended his statement that Working For Families is “communism by stealth”, saying that Working For Families had been “a system so hopeless that when you earn an extra dollar of paid employment you get to keep none of it … We spent a long time fixing that problem… we changed abatement rates”.

In fact, National changed the rules on Working For Families in 2011 to increase the abatement rate and lower the income level at which abatements kick in. Ultimately, the changes by Mr Key’s government will see families lose 25 cents of Working For Families payments for every extra dollar they earn, rather than 20 cents, which was the level when he came to office.

“John Key needs to come clean about his role in cutting back Working For Families payments for Kiwi families,” said Mrs Turei.

“Today, Mr Key claimed that he had “fixed” abatement rates that mean Kiwi families lose WFF money when their income rises. That was not true. In fact, he has made those abatement rates worse.

“In 2011, Mr Key’s government chose to increase the abatement rate for WFF from 20% to 25%, and lower the level at which the abatements kick in from 36,827 to $35,000 in the name of cost-cutting.

“Mr Key’s increased abatement rate and lower abatement threshold reduced Working for Families payments to Kiwi families by $448 million.

“It was the previous government, with the support of the Greens, that reducing abatement rates for Working for Families from 30% to 20% in 2006. John Key strongly opposed that move to ease the burden on families,” said Mrs Turei.

Additional information:

Key’s quote from Nine to Noon today [~22.40]: “[WFF was] a system so hopeless that when you earn an extra dollar of paid employment you get to keep none of it is exactly that. We spent a long time fixing that problem: we changed tax rates, we changed abatement rates”

Beehive press release on the 2011 changes:

Why are changes being made?
•          The changes will save $448 million over four years, which can be used for other Government priorities like improving frontline public services or reducing borrowing.
What is changing?
•          The next four times Family Tax Credit (FTC) payments are adjusted for inflation:
•          The WFF abatement threshold will decrease by $477 on the first adjustment, and thereafter each time by $450.
•          The WFF abatement rate will increase each time by 1.25 cents in the dollar.
•          After those four adjustments, WFF will therefore have:
•          A slightly lower abatement threshold of $35,000, compared to the current $36,827.
•          A slightly higher abatement rate of 25 cents in the dollar, compared to the current 20 cents in the dollar (this means WFF payments will reduce faster as income increases).

Key in Question Time in 2006 opposing the lowering of the abatement rate: “When will the Minister finally admit the truth, which is that Helen Clark ordered the extension of this welfare package to higher-income New Zealanders,”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pre-Caucus Audio:
David Cunliffe And
The Future Of The
Labour Party

David Cunliffe met with the press today after Saturday’s disappointing election result for The Labour Party.

“We are all deeply concerned by the result of our party vote. I want to be clear that I, as leader, am responsible for that result” Cunliffe said. Although he called the results “deeply disappointing” Cunliffe said “the voters are always right”.

He felt that Labour needed to make improvements and take action: “We don’t need months to get feedback from members of the public, we've had a lot over the past 48 hours”. More>>

Update: After a seven hour caucus meeting David Cunliffe has announced Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni as new party whips and said the Labour council will hold an independent review into the election result. He did not comment on any leadership vote.

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news