“Green Party will lift families out of poverty”

Policy announced by green co-leader Metiria Turei today:—

The Green Party has released a plan today to ensure no New Zealander will live in poverty, whether they are working or on a benefit.

The families package, announced today at the Party’s AGM, will increase all benefits by 20 percent, boost Working For Families and raise the minimum wage. It will lift the incomes of more than 500,000 low and middle income Kiwi families. It also removes all financial penalties and excessive sanctions that beneficiaries currently face.

Tax reform will ensure everyone who earns less than $150,000 a year is better off, by reducing the bottom tax rate to 9 percent and putting in place a new top tax rate of 40 percent on income over $150,000.

“These are the most significant changes to our welfare system in a generation,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Our plan will lift people out of poverty and guarantee a basic, liveable income for anyone working or on a benefit.

“These changes will make a huge difference to the 190,000 thousand Kiwi kids whose families rely on a benefit to get by, and to all working families struggling to make ends meet.

“We will end the punitive culture at MSD, which punishes people through benefit sanctions, abatements and investigations. Rather than providing people with ‘incentives’, it traps them in a cycle of poverty and puts children’s wellbeing at risk.

“We believe that poverty should never be used as a weapon, especially when children are involved.

“Our plan to mend the safety net will ensure that all families in New Zealand can afford to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head and pay their power bill.

“Working For Families has been slowly undermined after nine years of National, and our plan will help low income families, by increasing the value of Working For Families and lowering the bottom tax rate.

“Our social safety net should provide effective support for people who need it, while they need it. The Green Party in government will make this a priority,” said Mrs Turei.

Outcomes of the welfare, Working for Families, and tax reform package include:

  • A sole parent on a benefit, with two school-age children, and no paid employment: $179.62 better off every week.
  • A sole parent receiving the Student Allowance, with two children, and part time work on just above minimum wage: $176.15 better off every week.
  • A single person receiving Jobseeker support: $42.20 better off every week.
  • A two parent family, with one working parent on the median income, with three children: $104.42 better off every week.
  • Two parents, both receiving Jobseeker support, with three children: $207.46 better off every week.
  • A two parent family, both earning the median income of 48,000, with three children: $130.19 better off every week.
  • Two parents, one in paid work earning $70,000 a year, with two children: $87.85 better off every week.

Green Party Family Incomes Full Policy

Green Party Family Incomes Policy Overview 

Also Mending the Safety Net – Metiria Turei’s speech to the Green Party 2017 AGM


Fiscal impact:

Modelling assuming National’s ‘families package’ does not take effect:

  • Total cost of “fixing benefits and Working for Families” – $1.468 million
  • Tax reform a small net positive fiscal impact – $163.4 million
  • Reducing WINZ’s spending on investigating beneficiaries – save $35 million

No costing on the possible impact of more people choosing not to work and live off a benefit.

No costing on increasing the minimum wage.

They will remove all obligations and sanctions “that create an excessive burden on people”. So it will be a no questions asked benefit policy?

Leave a comment

15 Comments

  1. Given it will NEVER go anywhere because the Greens will not be in anyway in the seats of power come October/November 2017 its all just a deep red socialists dream…..

    40% on the dollar over $150K…. accountants and lawyers will love that and it won’t reap the reward the Greens think.

    But as a thought: How about instead of forcing people to pay via a coercive taxation system for more money for beneficiaries/needy poor/suffering solo mums etc etc – why don’t the Greens set up a “not for profit” run by volunteers which receives cash from people who think everything is unfair so that cash can redistributed with zero friction, i.e. zero admin costs, to the perceived needy? The admin and systems costs could be funded by wealthy Greens supporters like the Mills family member who donates to the Greens?

    There you go solution!!! You believe there is a problem, you resolve it and you leave my pocket alone – as I have no desire to fund feckless serial breeders like the Greens promoted mum of 10 who is being “hurt” by MSD via deductions form her benefit because she wont name the fathers of some of her child….

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  July 16, 2017

      Oh, come on, be reasonable.How can anyone be expected to remember the names of 10 fathers ???

      Reply
  2. Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 16, 2017

      So do they think it should be used as a threat against idleness? If yes, how do they propose to distinguish the deserving poor from the undeserving? If no, how do they propose to save the nation from a slide into unaffordable slothfulness.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  July 16, 2017

        It’s a dream. It will never happen. No questions asked money from WINZ, no checks, no penalties for claiming accommodation allowance while this money (and more) is also coming from flatmates….I suppose that working and claiming will also be all right.

        This is likely to backfire against the Greens.

        Reply
  3. Corky

     /  July 16, 2017

    This is a seriously attractive package for the greedy poor. This is unfortunately a vote winner..and so is this:

    ” We will end the punitive culture at MSD, which punishes people through benefit sanctions, abatements and investigations..”

    What punitive culture? You have to be seriously deranged to lose a benefit. You receive three warnings and people fall over backwards to help you. Everything is spelt out in black and white so you know where you stand.

    Thankfully the people who’d benefit from this aren’t interested in politics. God help us if someone informs them. But left to their own devices a trip to the polling both is a step too far for them to waster their boozing time on.

    Reply
    • Kevin

       /  July 16, 2017

      “What punitive culture? You have to be seriously deranged to lose a benefit. You receive three warnings and people fall over backwards to help you. Everything is spelt out in black and white so you know where you stand.”

      You mean like having your benefit cut off without notice only to be reinstated a month later with back payment but with no apology and in the meantime you still had to go a month without any income?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  July 16, 2017

        ”You mean like having your benefit cut off without notice only to be reinstated a month later with back payment but with no apology and in the meantime you still had to go a month without any income?”

        I have helped a deadbeat relative in the same situation. So I did the logical thing. I took him to Winz ( he can only speak pigeon English) and as his support person asked them what the hell was going on. I was informed three letters had be sent to him explaining a medical certificate was needed at a certain time. He was also made aware of punctuality being a necessity at his last interview with his case manger.

        I asked my relly if he got those letters. He said he only occasionally checked his letterbox. I asked him how the fug did he pay his bills? His reply ” When the debt collector comes around I get another relative to help me pay my bills.

        You can’t tell me nuffing about beanies..Kev.

        Reply
        • Kevin

           /  July 16, 2017

          Don’t worry. I’ve heard horror stories about beneficiaries like one who demanded money so he could buy an engagement ring and got all aggro when he was refused. The difference is the WINZ officers are the professionals here and who are expected to maintain a professional standard.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  July 16, 2017

            Agreed. And sadly you are lucky if you strike a good case manager. However, the abuse I have observed in Winz offices is appalling. They say you grow like the people you associate with. That may be true.

            Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  July 16, 2017

          Pigeon English ? Coo !

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  July 16, 2017

            Please allow for a little exaggeration, Kitty. But only a little. The Winz lady kept on saying pardon. Here, this is an example. And no, these aren’t my relatives.

            Reply
  4. Kevin

     /  July 16, 2017

    I’ll give this to the Greens – WINZ does need a good kick up the ass with regards to how they treat their clients. But you don’t lift families out of poverty by having an even more obese welfare system. I’d do it by middle class tax cuts which would put more money into the economy which would mean more money being spent, higher consumer demand, meaning more jobs.

    Reply
  5. Strong For Life

     /  July 16, 2017

    If this policy was implemented it seems that many, maybe most, beneficiaries would be earning more than many low-income workers. if this was the case, wages would have to rise by 20 percent too or what would be the point of working? Why slog your guts out in a menial job when you can get paid more for doing nothing. Benefit numbers would soar with such a policy.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  July 16, 2017

      Well, people who found themselves out of work would have little incentive to look for it, if they were unskilled and doing unexciting work.

      I wonder if, while the beneficiaries might not literally be paid better than low-income workers, by the time the costs associated with work are taken into account-travel and so on-it might end up as being the same thing.

      Reply

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