Working for Families reform must end discriminatory tax credits

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Government’s reported reform of Working for Families must put an end to the discriminatory tax credits that keep some kids in poverty, the Green Party said today.

“Working for Families doesn’t work for some of the lowest income families in our communities, because they can’t access some tax credits, and this keeps them in poverty,” Green Party Social Development and Employment spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March said today.

“The In-Work Tax Credit and Minimum Family Tax Credit discriminate against families who can’t find paid work or are self-employed, meaning often they can’t access the income support they need to live with dignity.

“COVID-19 showed the importance of supporting everyone in our communities and recognising the value of the unpaid work that keeps us together. At a time when it’s harder to find a job than normal, it’s really important the Government reforms these discriminatory tax credits.

“Working for Families has been effective at raising some family incomes, but not others. We welcome steps to reform it and we encourage the Government to move towards greater universality of income support such as the Green Party’s proposed Guaranteed Minimum Income.

“The Green Party also welcomes reports that the Government is exploring options for families without children, and this needs to recognise that people caring for elderly relatives deserve enough income to live with dignity, independent of their employment status.”

The Green Party’s proposed Guaranteed Minimum Income includes replacing all current Working for Families tax credits with a Family Support Credit for all low and medium income families, of $190 a week for the first child and $120 a week for subsequent children.

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