The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.
The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least $325 a week. People with kids or disability will receive extra support.
Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today:
“During COVID-19 we’ve seen our collective ability to work together to change the system for the better, in a way which benefits all of us. Today, the Green Party is announcing a plan to ensure everyone has enough to put food on the table and a roof over their head.
“For the past thirty years, Aotearoa’s social safety net has trapped people in poverty, by keeping support payments too low and creating complex barriers to getting support.
“This means people who are out of work, students, single parents, and those with health conditions and disabilities are often under financial stress with few options to improve their lives – especially as housing costs continue to increase.
“Our Guaranteed Minimum Income will mean when people ask for help, they get it. It will replace the dehumanising and unliveable social safety net we currently have, which we know does not allow people to live good lives.
“Our Poverty Action Plan also ensures that those who find themselves unable to work due to sickness or disability are properly supported, and have enough to live on.”
To fund the overhaul, the Green Party is proposing a 1% levy on wealth over $1 million. Those with wealth over $2 million would pay 2%.
The Green Party is also proposing two new high income tax brackets for the highest earners.
“Our Guaranteed Minimum Income is about fairness. It’s about ensuring those who have done well under our current system pay it forward and share that success with people who are struggling.
“COVID-19 has revealed the glaring holes in our social safety net. It’s also presented an opportunity to fix them once and for all, and create truly equal communities where everyone can thrive.
“This plan creates a fairer Aotearoa, and moves all of us forward together.” Marama Davidson concluded.
Our Poverty Action Plan will:
- Reset income support payments to ensure everyone not in fulltime paid work, including students, has income of at least $325 a week.
- Support sole parents with a top-up of $110, bringing their base payments to $435 per week.
- Change abatement and relationship rules so people and their partners can earn more from paid work before their income support entitlements are reduced.
- Provide a $100 a week universal payment to families for each child under three, building on the existing Best Start system.
- Replace Working for Families tax credits with a single Family Support Credit of $190 per week for the first child and $120 per week for subsequent children, with a higher abatement threshold and lower abatement rate.
- Reform ACC into an Agency for Comprehensive Care covering all health-related income support within a single system with guaranteed payments of at least 80% of the fulltime minimum wage.
- Introduce a wealth tax for those with a net-worth over $1 million, and introduce top-tier tax brackets for the highest earners.