English on cutting Working for Families:
“The National Party’s decision not to change Working For Families delivers certainty for struggling families.
A careful analysis of Working For Families reveals there would have only been small savings had National opted to remove those on higher incomes from the scheme. Taking higher-income families out of WFF saves very little money, at least in the short term.
As at 31 March 2007, around 1,000 families earning over $100,000 were receiving WFF, and payments to those families totalled only $1.1 million. Any policy to take higher-income families out of WFF would only affect a handful of families, and they would be families with four or more children.
In this uncertain economic climate, we want to give all families certainty about their incomes so there will be no change to WFF.”
That was 2008. When he wanted to get elected. He was telling the truth then. High earners on WFF are incidental. $20 a week for a thousand families.
Now, earthquake = shock doctrine. English is talking up cutting WFF again.
He says it would be ‘only for the rich’. But why bother just to save $1 million? Because cutting out a few high income families will cut nearly everyone’s WFF payments.
Only 3 ways to avoid paying a handful of high-income families a little in WFF.
1, cut payments – every family getting WFF is worse off.
2, higher abatement rate – taking money from most WFF families.
3, a sudden cut-off – earn an extra dollar, lose hundreds in WFF payments. Bad economics.
All those options suck. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And English knows the bathwater isn’t even dirty.
If WFF cuts come, every family will hurt. English and Key knows that. It’s the plan.