New Zealand Labour party social package will halve child poverty, analysis claims New Zealand Labour party social package will halve child poverty, analysis claims

New Zealand Labour party social package will halve child poverty, analysis claims
26 Jan 2018

Figures have been released comparing the respective impacts of the multi-billion dollar social packages on which the Labour and National parties in New Zealand campaigned during the 2017 election.

Both promised an extension to the Working for Families policy and a major increase in the accommodation supplement for thousands of families in a bid to cut child poverty and funnel more money to low and middle income households.

On top of this, the National party also proposed a package of tax cuts, which would have benefited all taxpayers to some extent. Labour, which formed a coalition government with New Zealand First and has now passed its package under urgency, offered a weekly payment for families with new babies for a year and help with heating costs for pensioners during the winter regardless of their financial status.

Child poverty was a driving theme of the election campaign with both parties claiming they would lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.

The details

But the figures that have now been put together for Cabinet ministers provide a direct comparison between the two packages. They show that Labour's package will almost halve the number of children considered to be living in poverty, cutting the number by 71,000 during 2019 and by 88,000 two years later.

National's package would also have done the same for 55,000 children during 2019 - but this figure would then have fallen away to 49,000 by 2021. But according to Radio NZ https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/346322/the-battle-of-the-families-packages, this scenario fails to take account of either a second package that would have been introduced in April or of the wider economic benefits the tax cuts would have delivered, however.

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Figures have been released comparing the respective impacts of the multi-billion dollar social packages on which the Labour and National parties in New Zealand campaigned during the 2017 election.

Both promised an extension to the Working for Families policy and a major increase in the accommodation supplement for thousands of families in a bid to cut child poverty and funnel more money to low and middle income households.

On top of this, the National party also proposed a package of tax cuts, which would have benefited all taxpayers to some extent. Labour, which formed a coalition government with New Zealand First and has now passed its package under urgency, offered a weekly payment for families with new babies for a year and help with heating costs for pensioners during the winter regardless of their financial status.

Child poverty was a driving theme of the election campaign with both parties claiming they would lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.

The details

But the figures that have now been put together for Cabinet ministers provide a direct comparison between the two packages. They show that Labour's package will almost halve the number of children considered to be living in poverty, cutting the number by 71,000 during 2019 and by 88,000 two years later.

National's package would also have done the same for 55,000 children during 2019 - but this figure would then have fallen away to 49,000 by 2021. But according to Radio NZ https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/346322/the-battle-of-the-families-packages, this scenario fails to take account of either a second package that would have been introduced in April or of the wider economic benefits the tax cuts would have delivered, however.

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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