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Greens launch billion dollar plan to reduce child poverty

Written By: - Date published: 2:54 pm, August 17th, 2014 - 51 comments
Categories: greens - Tags:

lprent: Decided to just post this.

The Green Party today launched a billion dollar package to significantly reduce child poverty in New Zealand.

The details of the plan were released at the party’s campaign launch in Auckland.

The plan is the core component of the Green Party’s social policy priority this election: Delivering a fairer society where every child has enough to thrive.

The Green Party will:

Create a new top tax rate of 40 percent above $140,000, harmonise the trust tax rate with the top income tax rate, and introduce measures to make it harder for people to avoid paying their fair share of tax, generating close to $1 billion a year;

Investing that revenue to fund:

A new Children’s Credit that will give an extra $60 a week to families currently missing out, at a cost of $400 million a year;
A non-discriminatory Parental Tax Credit of $220 a week in the first weeks of life for the poorest children, costing $29.4 million a year;
A $500 million per year investment in children’s health and education to reduce the harm caused by poverty.

“The Green Party is committed to building a fairer society where every child in this country has enough of what they need to thrive,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Ensuring that every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive is one of the biggest moral and economic challenges of our times. One in four kiwi children now live below the poverty line.

“There are 35,000 more children growing up in severe poverty in New Zealand than there were before National came to power. That makes a total of 205,000 New Zealand children living in severe poverty.

“Child poverty and inequality grew faster in New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s than any other country in the world and it has remained at unacceptably high levels.

“Kiwi kids growing up in poverty are three times more likely to be admitted to hospital, five times more likely to die of cot death, and 27 times more likely to get rheumatic fever, and die earlier than those who are better off.

“Child poverty can be eliminated. We have the tools and techniques. It is simply a matter of choice.

“The Green Party plan will significantly reduce the number of children growing up in poverty in New Zealand.

“Altogether the Green Party has a $1 billion plan to invest in children and families to reduce poverty in New Zealand.

“For a quarter of the price of National’s tax cuts to the wealthiest New Zealanders we can reduce poverty and its effects amongst our poorest children.

“We will roll the Family Tax Credit and the In-work Tax Credit together to create a new Children’s Credit, worth an additional $60 a week for children who currently miss out on the In Work Tax Credit.

“130,000-150,000 extra families will benefit from this payment, which will provide an additional $3000 a year to the majority of children in poverty, whose parents are beneficiaries or students.

“The Children’s Credit will represent a dramatic reversal of 22 years of discrimination against our poorest children that started with the scrapping of the universal family benefit in 1991.

“We will also extend the Parental Tax Credit to the 13,000 newborns whose parents are currently ineligible. The Parental Tax Credit will be worth $220 a week for 10 weeks, a total of $2,200.

“Our policy enacts the advice of Paula Bennett’s officials who told her that babies born to beneficiaries had the most to gain from this financial support in their first weeks of their life and that such a payment could improve their long term wellbeing.

“We will also invest $500 million per year in children’s health and education initiatives to reduce the harm of poverty.

“Hundreds of thousands of Kiwi kids will be much better off under the Greens $1 billion investment in the health, education and financial welfare of our children. We will loosen the grip poverty has on the lives of too many kids,” said Mrs Turei.

The Green Party also announced that the funding for the poverty alleviation package will come through introducing a new top tax rate of 40 percent on any income earned over $140,000, with every cent raised going directly into alleviating child poverty.

“The new top tax rate will impact only 3 percent of all taxpayers, but the revenue raised will make the world of difference to the hundreds of thousands of children who are living in poverty.

“Our tax system is the key to solving poverty and reducing inequality. Our top rate of income tax is the fourth lowest in the OECD. Even at 40 percent, we’ll still have one of the lowest top tax rates in the OECD.

“To limit the risk of tax avoidance that can arise when you raise the top tax rate, we’ll also raise the trust tax rate to harmonise with the new top tax rate at 40 percent.

“The Green Party is committed to eliminating child poverty in New Zealand. Our suite of initiatives will significantly raise incomes for the poorest families in New Zealand.

“Voters have a real choice on September 20. A Government prepared to tackle poverty and inequality, or a Government in denial of both.”

To read the full policy, go to: https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/fairer-society/reducing-child-poverty


51 comments on “Greens launch billion dollar plan to reduce child poverty ”

  1. outofbed 1

    Well that is amazing
    Well done The Greens

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Posted on the one about their campaign launch.

    I think this policy, in combination with their policy for Christchurch, means the Greens will be getting my party vote, not Labour.

  3. Ant 3

    That’s how you get rid of poverty. Bold policy.

    Party vote from me as well.

    • Nick K 3.1

      You get rid of poverty through upskilling and hard work, not through wealth taxes. There is no way this wealth tax will raise one billion dollars. If the Greens think it will, then they are either stupid (I don’t think they are) or just deliberately ignorant.

      • Macro 3.1.1

        “You get rid of poverty through upskilling and hard work”
        Yeah RIGHT!
        Working so well now isn’t it…
        Tell that to the 32000 more out of work now than when these Nat pricks took office.

        • Nick K

          You get out of it through tax and redistribution? Yeah RIGHT!! Working real well currently and under Labour from 1999 – 2008. Tell that to Ruth Dyson who admitted as much when she was Minister.

          • Macro

            So Ruth Dyson is the guru on the redistribution of wealth???
            Look from your example given – you are someone who has NO IDEA of what NZ was like before 1984.
            The rot started under douglas exacerbated by richardson, and english and halted for a while under cullen, (but never fully rectified), and further composted by english again has rendered this country a third rate economy which has lost its national power and ability to support itself.
            The redistribution of wealth will put more spending power in peoples pockets increasing the economy in a positive way. When you put wealth into the pockets of the wealthy – it STAYS THERE.

            • Draco T Bastard

              When you put wealth into the pockets of the wealthy – it STAYS THERE.


              And collapses the economy while impoverishing the many.

              We cannot afford the rich.

              • Lanthanide

                I’ve posited before that the accumulation of wealth is likely to have dampened real inflation rates.

                Makes me wonder what the inflation would have been if we had a more distributive tax regime.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Not a more distributive tax regime, more of the money going to the workers. After a dip in the 1980s wages have stagnated with all the gains going to the rich resulting in an imbalance in the distribution of wealth. Previously 65% went to workers, now somewhere along the lines of 45% goes to workers while the rest goes to the rich.

                  Keeping wages down would most definitely have reduced inflation over the last 20 years or so. It’s also increased poverty.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2

        Nick K I’m interested in your conclusion that “You get rid of poverty through upskilling and hard work”. Can you show me a list of countries that achieve your stated aims (let’s be charitable and assume you’re arguing in good faith)?

        That means you show me the countries that do better at “getting rid of poverty” than we do, and then we’ll discuss how they go about it.

        You might learn something.

        • Ant

          LOL those children living in poverty need to upskill and work harder!!!!!

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            They have distinct advantages over adults in the market. They’re easily awed, despite responding poorly to harsh coercion. They’ll work for far less, but perhaps their most exciting advantage is their size, which makes viable workplace environments impossible for adults.

            Downward pressure on wages, little fingers in hard-to-reach places. What’s not to like from an investment perspective?

            Can you see how too much regulation gets in the way of upskilling and hard work?

      • vto 3.1.3

        It is not a “wealth tax” it is the adjustment of the existing wealth redistribution mechanisms to more evenly spread the wealth of the country across its inhabitants.

      • felix 3.1.4

        “You get rid of poverty through upskilling and hard work”

        That’s one way for an individual to get out of poverty. It doesn’t address getting rid of poverty at all.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.5

        You get rid of poverty through upskilling and hard work,

        Hasn’t worked so far. In fact, under the present regime all the productivity gains over the last 20 years have gone to the most non-productive of all – the ownership class.

        There is no way this wealth tax will raise one billion dollars.

        Oh, I’m sure it will. Especially if they work with Labour and other left-wing parties to close all the tax loopholes.

  4. KJS0ne 4

    Bloody good. One thing that really grinds me about our tax system is its regressive nature. National raised GST to 15, which affects the wealthy sweet f.a. but those struggling in the lower brackets a lot. Those earning millions of dollars should not be taxed at the same rate as those earning $70,000 either, that’s just criminal.

    National’s tax policy is straight out of the same tired insipid old trickle down Reaganomics playbook and it has been proven not to work.

  5. tricledrown 5

    Brave move good investment in our future taxpayers!
    Our population is ageing more rapidly than expected so having huge numbers of children in poverty doesn’t make economic sense we need healthy adults able to work and function that don’t overload our health systems who are in the highest income bracket!
    Leaving huge numbers at the bottom of the economic pile will keep this country at the bottom of the OECD .
    as well as create a huge burden of a $6.5 billion loss to the economy every year that’s OECD figures!
    The 260’000 children now in poverty hides the fact that 15’000 new born children are being born i to poverty and 15,000 children are heading into adult poverty.
    That is a huge waste of human resource.
    Bandaid policy never works it is just designed to cover up the problem and make middle Classes fob the problem off.
    The right wing fundamentalist policy is to do nothing and say look at real poverty in India.
    That’s no excuse over 20 years we will have created 750,000 adults who won’t pay much tax use up heath resources police corrections create another generation of underperforming human resource that the right say serves themselves right eventually the well off pay more down the line but can’t see past the right wing propaganda!

    • Nick K 5.1

      The majority of people in this country don’t pay any tax. The “rich” pay a huge proportion to ensure the most don’t pay any.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        [citation needed]

      • lprent 5.1.2

        Most people don’t pay GST or rates (via rents or directly) or the remaining sales and import taxes? Lets take you at your word.

        That will come as a surprise to them. Also to the treasury when they lose 2/3rds of their GST income. Since the GSt income is as large as income tax that will cause a few problems. We might have to put up income taxes up.

        You really are stupid fool.

      • tricledrown 5.1.3

        Niki K BS urban myth the wealthiest dodge the most tax middle income earners pay the most even the poor are paying 15% GST .Fuel taxes on everything they buy and move!

      • tricledrown 5.1.4

        Nick K look to the US the states with the highest taxes have least debt least unemployment best education higher wages to make up for lower taxes and have economic growth.
        US states with the lowest taxes have higher debt higher unemployment lower wages poorer healthcare poorer education all are in recession!

        • Nick K

          Then we should all be taxed at 100% and we’d be smoking.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And the RWNJ, lacking any sort of argument, brings in the extremism.

          • tricledrown

            Nick K how many high tax states in the US have banned smoking and what’s the tax rate in California and New York you Dork .So you have run out of puff !
            Haven’t Done any research so you come up with a pathetic Argument!

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yep, knew that was a logical fallacy.

          • tricledrown

            Nick why not have zero tax(like capital gaingsters drive round in a $200,000 Remuera tractors get everything free from those who pay tax )
            Then we would have no roads no police no hospitals etc!
            Less tax is a fallacy to what sort of car do you drive a cheap chinese daewoo copy or an Audi or BMW i bet its the latter you get what you pay for and in New Zealand we pay some of the lowest taxes in the world over all!
            This is the land of Milk and Honey or so were lead to believe that its the best place in the world to bring up children but the facts don’t back that up Among the highest child poverty in the OECD highest child abuse neglectrates poorest quality housing!
            When John Key was growing up we had the best housing lowest child poverty!
            He was a son of a benefit bludger according to your outlook!

            • Tracey

              he and the others are at their Monday morning briefing. They will emerge soon with a line of attack and lines.

  6. Macro 6


    Come on Labour! – Get in behind!

  7. disturbed 7

    Investing in our future is the best way, at least the NatZ cannot flog our children as yet another asset selloff unless they resort to slavery.

    If NatZ they get back in and sign us to the slave trading TPPA maybe they will attempt as mad for money as they are – try to sell our children as they only place a value on everything not the value of humanity.

    We Love the “building of a fairer society”.

    It rings good as we need to return to Egalitarian society before we destruct.

    Go Greens.

    “The Green Party is committed to building a fairer society where every child in this country has enough of what they need to thrive,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

  8. Tracey 8

    What bastards!

  9. TightyRighty 9

    i don’t like it, but it’s far more honest and thought through than any recent labour policy

    • Macro 9.1

      What don’t you like Tightarse?
      Kids actually being given a chance in life?
      nah! we can’t have that!
      Might loose a bit of privilege?
      Can’t have that!

      • TightyRighty 9.1.1

        taxing those who do work to pay those who don’t? you can call it tight, you can call it whatever you like, it’s not your money and never will be.

        • Tracey

          better to spend much more money on prisons and hospitals for the result of not spending it when they are young, right TightyRighty. IF it was about getting people working you would support this policy because getting a good start has a HUGE impact on the contribution a person makes to society later in life.

        • tricledrown

          Funny that this govt is giving more of your money to those who don’t work!
          Labour greens have always had lower numbers on benefits! National 32,000 more on unemployment benefit nearly 30,000 more on DPB
          your leader is complaining about labour phasing in older retirement ages for the pension you are against that as well.The latest statistics reveal that that numbers reaching retirement age is increasing more rapidly than expected Treasury! Ok tighty Your full of it
          You are like your liar leader your a gullible selfish Tight Arse who has no long term vision!
          It was OK for Paula bene Basher to get DPB Free University education on my Taxes.
          John Key to get Child allowance state house Free University Education mums widows Pension on my taxes!
          100% of your primary intermediate and high school education on my Taxes
          72%of your Tertiary education on my taxes.+ interest free loan
          Free hospital cheap prescriptions cheap doctors visits on my taxes!
          Tight arse almighty !

  10. tricledrown 10

    What if John Key was getting a state house his mother a widows pension and child allowance’s like he did when he was growing up a!

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Our tax system is the key to solving poverty and reducing inequality.

    Nope, it’s not. We have to change our entire socio-economic system to do that but taxing the bejeesus out of the rich is a good start.

    Still, these policies have a definite chance of picking a large part of the Missing Million.

  12. Skinny 12

    An outstanding policy release Greens well done!
    It is about time a political party put the weight up on the top 5% who have been allowed to get away with not paying their share of tax.

    Have a our CEO coming for a visit next week. Looking forward to asking him how he feels about this policy, I mean he is only getting paid 900k from the state. Believe me I will ask him in front of a packed room of staff when he gives his state of the nation horse shit speech.

  13. Sable 13

    Its a great idea but the coverage in the MSM predictably is anti Green and pro National. Nice to see sites like this one but I wonder how many of us actually make the effort to go beyond the morning coffee and their daily dose of sites like Stuff and the Herald.

    In any case good work Greens, keep it up.

  14. Nick K 14

    The Government believes that ultimately work is the best way out of poverty, and provides the best social and economic outcomes for families in the long run. Making work pay through the In-Work Payment component of the Working for Families package improves people’s opportunities to make a better life for themselves and their families.

    This is Michael Cullen from the 2006 Budget. He thinks work is the way out of poverty. I agree with him.

    • Tracey 14.1

      So do the Greens. They understand the research (also done by Ministry for Social Development) which shows that the better the health and education and home outcomes for those in their earliest years on the planet, the more likely they are to be contributing members of society.

      Keep your head in the sand and you will find your tax dollars going into hospital care, prison building and things far more expensive than this policy.

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