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

Urban Planning Report: Momentum Grows To Replace The RMA

A major new report from the Productivity Commission lays the foundation for action on the growing political consensus that the Resource Management Act and associated laws are failing both cities and the natural environment and need a complete rewrite.

Published this morning, the final “Better Urban Planning” report is the culmination of eight years of investigations ordered by the government into the causes of unaffordable housing and urban planning. More>>

 

Vaping: Quitline Supports Decision To Legalise Nicotine E-Cigarettes

Today Associate Minister of Health, Hon Nicky Wagner has announced that Government are taking the proactive step of legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, a move which Quitline is pleased to hear and support wholeheartedly. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday. More>>

ALSO:

Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

ALSO:

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news