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

 

CPAG: Government Spends Over $100K Pursuing Beneficiary

For the past fifteen years, Kathryn, now in her fifties and living alone with chronic ill health on a benefit, has been challenging the decision by the MSD that she has to pay back $117,000. She has no assets or savings and cannot afford to pay for fresh food or therapy that would improve her health. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: National’s Cuts Shave $100K Off KiwiSaver By Retirement

New analysis shows National’s constant cuts to KiwiSaver will reduce the average worker’s retirement savings by $100,000 over their working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says... Since coming to office it has made five separate cuts to the scheme." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Transport Operators Switch From SuperGold To AT HOP Cards

Seniors using Auckland’s public transport will need to use their AT HOP cards from today but Auckland Transport has requested its operators to show understanding for those customers yet to complete the switch from SuperGold cards. More>>

ALSO:

Crime Stats: Burglary Up 11.9%

“While burglary rates are still below that of recent years, there has been an increase of more than 10 per cent over the past 12 months, which is of concern to Police and something we are determined to tackle,” says Police Commissioner Mike Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Help: Lifeline Aotearoa Fighting For Survival

Lifeline Aotearoa has announced it only has enough money to run for one more year. By 30 June 2017, all available sustainability reserves and funds from a new mortgage on its Auckland property will be exhausted. More>>

ALSO:

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news