Green Party announce Poverty policy

The Green Party have made their first big policy announcement for the election campaign, and with Marama Davidson ranked #1 it has a social focus.

A Guaranteed Minimum Income “no matter what” is quite controversial.

The new ACC (Agency for Comprehensive Care) needs more detail. It suggests that someone on a benefit or student support who gets injured or sick could get paid a minimum of 80% of the full time minimum wage – if this is on a no questions asked basis (the Greens call it ‘no matter what’) it could be open to a lot of abuse.

RNZ:  Green Party unveils plans to tackle poverty

Davidson said the Green Party’s Poverty Action plan would “replace our outdated, unfair and unliveable welfare system with real, unconditional support for us all”.

With the Greens in government, ACC would be reformed into an “Agency for Comprehensive Care”, she said. It would support people who were injured or sick with at least 80 percent of the minimum full time wage, or up to 80 percent of the salary of the job they had to leave,

“Gone will be the days where people are asked to provide humiliating proof again and again and again”, she said.

In regards to funding the Poverty Action Plan, Davidson said those with a lot of wealth would “pay it forward”.

“If you’re a millionaire, for the wealth you have over that one million dollars, you will pay a one percent contribution. That will increase to a two percent contribution for wealth over two million dollars.”

It would take the Greens to get into Government, and to have a coalition partner (Labour) to agree to all of this, plus to not have NZ First in Government.


Poverty Action Plan

Our Poverty Action Plan will completely change the way we support people in New Zealand so when people ask for help, they get it. It overhauls the broken welfare system and guarantees that everyone who needs it, no matter what, has a minimum income they can rely on.

Sign on to our plan to show your support for this bold policy for change. 

Here’s how our Poverty Action Plan works for all of us:

  • Guaranteed Minimum Income of $325 per week for students and people out of work, no matter what.
  • Universal Child Benefit for kids under three of $100 per week.
  • A simplified Family Support Credit of $190 per week for the first child and $120 per week for subsequent children to replace the Working for Families tax credits with a higher abatement threshold and lower abatement rate.
  • Additional support for single parents through a $110 per week top-up.
  • Reforming ACC to become the Agency for Comprehensive Care, creating equitable social support for everyone with a work-impairing health condition or disability, with a minimum payment of 80% of the full time minimum wage.
  • Changes to abatement and relationship rules so people can earn more from paid work before their income support entitlements are reduced.
  • A 1% wealth tax for those with a net-worth over $1 million.
  • And two new top income tax brackets (for those earning over $100,000 and $150,000) for a more progressive tax system which redistributes wealth.

They have started a ‘petition’ promoting this plan, but that is simply a contact harvesting ploy that parties commonly use. It would serve no purpose beyond party promotions.

There is no indication how much this policy would cost.

Unless Greens get a huge increase in support and votes there is little likelihood this policy would run as it is.

The Greens are taking a risk with this policy given the collapse in their support and the political self destruction of Metiria Turei last election over social welfare.

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48 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  28th June 2020

    Slow learners, the Greens.
    They are in danger of finding out the hard way what being unemployed really feels like.

    Reply
  2. Corky

     /  28th June 2020

    ”It overhauls the broken welfare system and guarantees that everyone who needs it, no matter what, has a minimum income they can rely on.”

    No, Green policy would completely break the welfare system. Where do these people think money comes from..the Green Fairy?

    That said, they have fronted with a policy. It just needs a Green spokesperson ( now I’m PC)
    to explain the finer details. Oh, I have just found how the plan will be paid for. It’s up above. It’s quite simple and well explained:

    In regards to funding the Poverty Action Plan, Davidson said those with a lot of wealth would “pay it forward”.

    I can just see Sir Bob puffing away on his pipe and reading this. He’d be thinking of the glory days when he bashed a reporter for disturbing him while trout fishing.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  28th June 2020

      Didnt we once have a similar ‘guaranteed income’ scheme…oh thats right it was run by national for farmers….there you go.

      Reply
      • You are confusing subsidies with guaranteed income, and it’s National.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  28th June 2020

          Same thing..income was based on number of sheep or something

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  28th June 2020

            Yeah, at least you got something right. It was about production. You know…paying for beanies benefits. Labour took care of that supposed scam when they came to power and implemented the RIGHT policies over Muldoon’s socialism.

            I have just watched Sunday on One. They highlighted what innovations some NZ companies had achieved while in lockdown. Some of these projects were just mind boggling. The thought of these people being excessively taxed by the likes of Davidson and Co fills me with rage.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  28th June 2020

              I wonder if he thought that way when he was starting out with little money? When you have money you can spout any magnanimous utterance you like. He should relish the fact we have no capital CGT.

              And what about the middclass tax bracket under the Greens?

            • Duker

               /  29th June 2020

              Plenty of other countries have capital gains taxes like Australia and US.
              What downsides to they have that a similar based wealth tax here change.
              You are just opposed to taxes period, so dont let hype get into it. We are way past the socialist bogey man considering who the state and reserve bank are keeping the country afloat by providing credit for banks and business

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th June 2020

    A wealth tax is as fragile as the fraught assignments and estimates of wealth it depends on.

    Reply
    • I have no idea how it might work in practice, especially fairly. people owning 1.5m houses would get pinged annually, while those who can arrange their business affairs would avoid having assets directly.

      Is there a wealth tax like they are proposing in any country?

      Reply
      • I am most unlikely to be on the receiving end of a wealth tax, but the amount they are proposing to pay out is the world’s best incentive to be on welfare. Anyone with three children ($190 + $120 +$120) as well as the $325 basic amount & $110 as a little bonus would be taking home $865 (and probably an accommodation allowance).

        How to make anyone with money invest it abroad.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  28th June 2020

        “Is there a wealth tax like they are proposing in any country?”

        Yes. France ran one for a while. It creates significant problems as can be guessed.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity_tax_on_wealth

        Reply
  4. artcroft

     /  28th June 2020

    I’ve been stressed at work lately. I think I need some of that Comprehensive Care at 80% of my current wage. Where can I sign up?

    Reply
  5. David

     /  28th June 2020

    Sounds like a great plan, I am all for them campaigning strongly on this one. Someone may like to point out we already have one of the worlds most generous welfare system already, you can literally be in the 4th generation of dependency and no one asks you many questions.

    Reply
    • One woman was on the DPB for nearly 40 years. She probably went straight onto the pension.

      She was still on it when this was reported.

      One budget advisor was telling women to have a new baby every 18 months or so to keep their income going.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  28th June 2020

        Oh please….you hear these things at your ACT gatherings…urban myths mixed with white privilege and elitism

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  28th June 2020

          … over a glass of Chardonnay and a Cheesy Board of Claytons Intelligence …

          Reply
        • No, you spiteful trolls. It was in the Waikato Times, and was widely condemned. The woman involved lost her job as a result. She deserved to, it was crassly irresponsible from a social point of view to promote the idea of children being used as little earners, children who’d never know their fathers – fathers who might not even know that they were being used in this way.

          The woman who was on the DPB all that time was also documented in the press. Nothing to do with ACT.

          You have no idea of what ACT is like, as your spite and envious remarks show. If you think that people like Don Brash, Roger Douglas and David Seymour are unintelligent (as well as some of the members who are extremely successful as even you would have to admit if you knew who they were) you must be insane. To you, success seems to be a dirty word and must be sneered at and put down.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  29th June 2020

            ACT is a dumping ground for past their use by date politicians from prominent parties.

            Reply
  6. The claim to have costed the expenses offset by the wealth tax. Labour not committing to it.

    You would only pay the one per cent on the value of that asset above one per cent, and only on the actual equity you had in it, not what the bank owns.

    So if you own an Auckland property worth $1.5m but you still owe the bank $600,000, you’d pay nothing. And once you do own $1.1m of the property, you would only pay $1000 a year on that – it’s one per cent of the $100,000 above $1m, not of the full asset value. (This is complicated a bit by the fact that most people own other assets outside of houses, particularly KiwiSavers which aren’t exempt, but we’re talking hypotheticals here.)

    The other way the party has sneakily exempted most family homes is by individualising the tax, meaning it applies to each person rather than households.

    It also introduces problems for the policy. If someone’s partner suddenly dies it would suddenly increase their tax burden. And it isn’t clear what would happen to stop people just putting their kids of the title of their home, spreading the wealth around a family but and avoiding the tax. Actually administering this system so that the richest don’t avoid it would require a lot of investment at Inland Revenue, especially as they would need to create a whole new tool to value people’s businesses, which aren’t exempt from this tax. Capital flight – rich people taking their money elsewhere – could be quite an issue.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300044327/the-crucial-feature-of-the-greens-wealth-tax-that-would-exempt-most-family-homes

    Reply
    • John J Harrison

       /  28th June 2020

      In other words Robinson is saying absolutely nothing.
      If the Green’s had their way we would be the Venezuela of the South Pacific.
      Vote ACT to give National a spine .

      Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  28th June 2020

      Problem is you are only looking at the residential wealth of the people.

      Did the Greens forgot to add it is taxed on the total PRIVATELY owned wealth measured by business ownership value as well?

      Like the Top party wealth tax (of which this is but a simplified copy without the 6% return on investment quadrant) this tax is extremely hard to instigate as EVERY single chattel of wealth will need to have ownership ratified and be valued set at a single designated date.

      Once that is done will depreciation and inflation be deducted?.

      More importantly who will measure the wealth values for such chattels and are they arbitrary or can they be argued as disputable?

      The New Zealand PCWR (Private Chattel Wealth Registry) is going the most cumbersome database that will need constant of adjustment (think every single sale of company shares on the stock market or every car that is purchased or sold) and needing a huge billion dollar Oracle software set up with a giant bank of servers (Microsoft? using Manapouri power?). Employ how many data entry people? Remeber that is is not just on single chattels off wealth this will be measured on, it will be cumulative of ALL individual owned chattels. Your new car could tip your wealth valuation over the $1M mark.

      Never mind as a brake on investment where every new investment in plant and equipment will be levied another 2% tax each and every year it is operational.

      This “wealth” tax sounds so nice, so fluffy, so equal, but in reality; when the nuts are tightened on the bolts, a huge bureaucratic monolith that will take a huge resource to quantify each individual or company owned wealth chattel, add the figures and collect the tax.

      Good luck. Am sure Bob Jones has the spare office capacity to house the new YWMTCA (Your Wealth Measurement and Tax Collecting Agency). .

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  28th June 2020

        Every car ?
        It’s only on assets of more than $1 mill , and the value above that.
        IRD taxes income from selling and buying shares now anyway
        Heard of computers and self reporting with penalties for getting it wrong. GST works the same way. People go to jail who just ignore their tax responsibilities

        Reply
        • Gerrit

           /  28th June 2020

          Read the post. What dont you understand! It is not taxed on a single wealth chattel. It is taxed on the cumulative wealth of many chattels. Even a simple car purchase can send ones wealth over the threshold. If it was on individual chattels no one individual would have any assets over $1Million if they could avoid it. Businesses would avoid investment into plant and equipment (and jobs). Farmers, orchadist, etc., and anyone owning productive land would be hit with another 2% tax year in year out. Added straight onto the price of any produce you might buy.

          It s not the buying and selling of the shares, it is the value of those shares at any single instance in time (even when not sold) that will need entering into and or deducted into the PCWR.

          Buy 1Million shares at $1.00, pay tax on the $1M. Market crashes and those shares are worth $0.01. Someone has to enter the new amount into your PCWR account as you no longer have wealth of $1million. Your “wealth” can fluctuate enormously.

          Buy a new car for $50K and the next day the resale value (as a addition to your cumulative wealth liable for tax) of that car is considerably less.

          It is easy to tax income as it is a measurable and quantifiable amount weekly/monthly/yearly that shows up in your bank account and as a deduction from the payees bank account. With wealth this is completely different, it is measured by a state officvial and valued at a specific point in time. Totally different than GST where I collect GST on my sales and offset that value with the GST on my overheads/purchases. I dont pay GST on my “wealth”.

          Now try and imagine a business “:wealth” (or value) by taking into consideration goodwill and intellectual property values. Good luck with that.

          Who will measure goodwill and IP and allocate that “wealth” to a business owner for taxation purposes?

          Greens are showing their naivety and lack of understanding of business valuation with this tax proposal.

          This wealth taxation is going the same way the TOP taxation proposal is going. Straight in the bin. Good in theory and a sales point for luddlites and believers, but not a marketable idea that can be bought into.

          Reply
      • Pink David

         /  28th June 2020

        “This “wealth” tax sounds so nice, so fluffy, so equal, but in reality; when the nuts are tightened on the bolts, a huge bureaucratic monolith that will take a huge resource to quantify each individual or company owned wealth chattel, add the figures and collect the tax.”

        There is already a capital tax on international shares under the FIF rules. It is effectively a wealth tax.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  29th June 2020

          Already happens for company tax, fringe benefit tax, capital gains for share traders, GST and a whole alphabet of other financial situations
          Do you think these tings all magically work out themselves.

          werent you one of the people complaining about the Covid tax ‘credits’ wasnt helping you because your company didnt pay any tax…how dare the government not give back to the tax avoiders!
          Yes I know why you paid all the ‘profits’ out as shareholder salaries too, another tax ‘avoidance’ technique in-spite of appearing that it would taxed in recipients hands , that too would be claimed back. net result very little tax paid , but wealth accumulated…which is what teh Greens would go after …ouch

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  29th June 2020

            What the hell are you on about?

            “werent you one of the people complaining about the Covid tax ‘credits’ wasnt helping you because your company didnt pay any tax”

            I have said no such thing, this is simply some shit you have made up.

            “Yes I know why you paid all the ‘profits’ out as shareholder salaries too”

            You know this do you? Care to explain how you know how our accounts are run. We employee over 200 people in NZ, have you ever seen a company of that size operate like this, or is this more shit you have made up?

            Reply
  7. Gezza

     /  28th June 2020

    It’s from Marama Davidson. It looks to me like it could be a policy fundamentally aimed at raising the incomes of poor & unemployed Maori & Pasifika people with lots of children but extended out to the entire population to fudge or disguise that.

    It’s certainly not fun living on a benefit I imagine. There’s no margin for major personal economic mishaps, just debt.

    It’s not clear to me how making it possible for more people to live a good life by choosing to contribute nothing in the way of skills, products or services to generate the income & tax that’s going to be needed to pay for it, and more kids, won’t end up collapsing the whole economy before too long.

    Capital flight and avoidance are inevitable.

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  28th June 2020

      “Capital flight and avoidance are inevitable.”

      Absolutely. Who would set up or continue a business in New Zealand when say Vieitnam will offer lower taxation. Race to the bottom is on.

      As one commentator in South Africa said; “The result will be simple. The very mobile personal and Company wealth will simply move very fast to “friendly, reasonable,logical” countries who will boom as never before while the rest of the world lives in its wealth tax poverty mess.”

      Any country that want to lift themselves out of third world poverty will simply encourage investment by lowering taxation.

      Comments on this link in regards a wealth tax in South Africa worth a read in full.

      “Socialist economics will not work clearly these guys are the ANC favorite because they sing the correct song. What they neglect to mention here it that it was West Germany that was successful in getting their economy back up and running and not the East, it was also because they created an environment for a free market so that the people were able to be competitive in their business. The west also greatly benefited from their alliance with the USA during the Cold War.
      The Government is doing nothing to deserve more taxes from the wealthy and it will not go back to the poor because as we have seen time and again the politicians just gobble up everything in front of them for themselves. The people need to be able to work freely and the economy needs to be more open so that new business and companies can be created only then will there be competition and you will see less of a monopoly and more people will earn enough to have a comfortable life.”

      https://www.biznews.com/premium/bn-confidential/2020/06/17/wealth-tax-inequality-covid-19-bills

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  28th June 2020

        Here in NZ it’s not so much the politicians that gobble it up for themselves. It’s the bureaucracy, the consultants, the Committees & the contractors.

        Reply
    • I would never want the DPB not to be there for those who need it. like women in abusive relationships.

      But the amounts that the Greens want is unsustainable and would do nothing to make people want to work if they’d be worse off.

      Reply
  8. Blazer

     /  28th June 2020

    The fact that there are bnumerous tax havens around the world blows most of the spurious arguments against taxing the rich…out of the..water.

    Reply
  9. Fight4nz

     /  28th June 2020

    The sad thing is the comments are not that this in principle a bad way to operate a civilised society, but it is doomed to failure because of greed. The tax avoidance and capital flight on one side, exploitation of welfare on the other.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  29th June 2020

      Yes Fight4nz, it’s incredibly sad that people think this badly of their fellows, yes.

      Everyone thinks it about everybody else, not themselves though, which is kinda bizarre. I’d go on working, wouldn’t you? Like people are going to give up their $X,000 per week jobs for $325 a week. Yeah … Right! Or the career they’ve passionately studied for and worked at. Give me a break!

      The re-purposers of Darwin’s theory about jungle plants and animals, who enabled it to “jump species” to humans, and then parasitically attach itself to the Warlocks of Wall Street’s pseudo-science of ‘economics’ have a lot to answer for.

      Probably Christian Arch-Conservatives too? “Thou shalt not kill” without first having big shareholdings in arms and ammunition, and/or army-&-camping food and ‘Great Outdoors’ camouflage clothing, armoured vehicles, aircraft and helicopters.

      An ‘Individual Social Dividend’ or UBI just can’t be allowed to happen! Not for everyone’s ‘good’ …

      “We might (simply) conceive of a new kind of money, which is only current (“currency”) for a certain time and therefore cannot be stored-up as capital” – Frank E Warner ‘Future of Man’ (London 1944) …

      “The basic deficiency of present-day economics – (aka egonomics) – is the degradation of human labour to the status of a commodity (like coal or fertilizers!). There may be many methods of remedying this EVIL, but the final and decisive solution can after all be only one: the separation of labour and wage.” – ibid …

      The Guaranteed Minimum Income is another small step on the road to the inevitable ‘separation of labour and wage’ and its paradoxical unification of life and work.

      No more ‘Work-Life Balance’ but instead the enduring and perennial quest for, and expression of, one’s “Life’s Work”.

      The possibilities for a Humanity freed of the iron necessity and constant struggle to “earn one’s living” are beyond our dreams, a relative Utopia where, “with the magic ingredient imagination, Life becomes Art, and Art, Life.”

      “Hatred and struggle are no more serviceable as principles of Life than collision is as a principle in the journeys of the Stars” – ibid …

      Ψ PartisanZ Ψ – “Ethics Best Served Natural”

      Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  29th June 2020

        “Like people are going to give up their $X,000 per week jobs for $325 a week. Yeah … Right!”

        It all depends on how much of their $x,0000 per week pay goes into taxes to pay for the $325 GBI.

        If the tax rate is large enough and the take home pay falls to $500 then the desire to get up and earn the extra $200 will diminish.

        There in lies the perennial problem, how much tax does a rapacious state take from the worker to maintain the welfare state.

        You can tax a business or “wealth” as much as you like, those costs will simply be added to the price of every goods and services transaction. So the worker gets a triple whammy.

        Workers are not eligible for the GBI,
        They face increased costs for goods and services
        They are taxed at increasing rates until they earn $325 per week.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  29th June 2020

          ‘You can tax a business or “wealth” as much as you like, those costs will simply be added to the price of every goods and services transaction. So the worker gets a triple whammy.’

          Tell that to Apple,Google,Amazon….etc…

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  29th June 2020

          How many have wealth , that isnt covered by a mortgage, of over $1mill , and the tax only covers 1% of the value in excess of $1 mill
          It will under 5% of population who pay anything, including Aussies who have property here to avoid capital gains tax in Australia

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  29th June 2020

            So, not many people will pay the tax and most of them will pay very little.

            Reply

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