OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER:
CC: HON CARMEL SEPULONI
Tēnā koe Prime Minister,
We know we all feel really strongly that no one should be struggling to pay their power bills or feed their kids in this country.
But COVID-19 has worsened our inequality crisis, and children are suffering because of this. Our tamariki deserve a fair start in life, and with a few simple changes to Working for Families we can give it to them.
Working for Families is meant to give a helping hand to low-income whānau. But currently, payments are too low, the In Work Tax Credit excludes too many people, and many can’t access essential support because of unfair rules.
Together, we can make changes to ensure Aotearoa is a place where children have the best possible start in life, and are supported to grow up and thrive. We are asking for you to:
Create one, simplified Family Support Credit that enables all our tamariki to thrive, no matter whether parents are in work.
Increase the Family Support Credit to $210 for the first child and $133 for each additional child, for a simpler system with a higher rate of support.
- Shift the abatement threshold to $49,000, and lower the abatement rate to 20% to provide more support to families on low and middle incomes.
- Make the Best Start Tax Credit universal for all children aged under 3 years, increased to $110. This will ensure there is targeted support for families with new babies, so they can get the best start possible in the first 1000 days.
No one should be struggling to pay the power bills or feed their kids in Aotearoa New Zealand. People on the lowest incomes need a government that is committed to supporting them and their whānau. We know you want to make Aotearoa the best place for children to grow up and making these changes to Working for Families will go a long way.
Jan Logie & Ricardo Menéndez March
Green Spokesperson for Child Poverty Reduction
Green Spokesperson for Social Development