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How Will Tax Cuts Help Children In Lowest Incomes

Media Release: 8 October 2008
NZ Council of Christian Social Services

How Will Tax Cuts Change The Lives Of Children In Families On Lowest Incomes?

Announcements on Tax Cuts made by Labour and National both lack fairness because they fail to pass on any direct relief for those families who live on benefits and who are known to be suffering extreme levels of entrenched hardship and poverty, says Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services.

“We would like to hear more from the National Party about its commitment to an economic management plan that will ‘protect the vulnerable from the sharp edge of a recession’. By any definition the most vulnerable are those on the lowest incomes, including those who are dependent due to various circumstances, on benefits,” says Trevor McGlinchey.

“When Mr Key says that as a nation we must be ‘prepared to back ourselves’, we must also be prepared to back the least amongst us - those who have the least flexibility in the way that they make ends meet and those who most need a hand-up not a hand-out”.

“If we are going to talk about rebalancing, then we need to rebalance our thinking. We need to do more as a society to avoid a politics of prejudice towards those on the lowest incomes, including those potentially thousands of workers who might find themselves unemployed if the recession worsens”.

“A mature society, as described in Mr Key’s statement yesterday should, we believe, be a just and compassionate society. It should have a tax system that is fair and that sends a signal that all New Zealanders in all circumstances are valued,” says Trevor McGlinchey.

“We are equally concerned that the Labour Government has actually reduced the gross amount paid to those on benefits, so that their net income remains the same instead of receiving a boost from tax cuts. A truth that seems to be eluding our politicians is that economic decisions that ignore the poorest New Zealanders will continue to perpetuate injustice and disadvantage”.

“It is the children living here and now in families on the lowest incomes who are being hurt. It is for the sake of those children who will be making their futures here, that we need to rebalance all incomes – not just the incomes of the well-off”.


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