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

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news