New Zealand Labour Party

Labour prioritises families and public services

Labour’s Families Package delivers a bigger income boost to more than 70 per cent of families with children than Budget 2017. By not spending $1.5 billion a year on tax cuts, Labour is able to do more for lower and middle income families and people in need, while investing in the priorities Kiwi families care about: housing, health, education and infrastructure, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.

“This election there’s a clear choice. Labour’s priority is investing in the services Kiwis need and boosting the incomes of low and middle income families. National’s priority after nine years is an election tax bribe aimed at those at the top. At a time when we have crises in mental health and housing, now is not the time for tax cuts.

“I laid out my priorities in my first Labour Conference speech, where I committed to reducing child poverty and inequality. This package delivers on that promise.

“Labour’s Families Package is carefully designed to target low and middle income families. Every family receiving Working for Families currently will get more with Labour, and 30,000 more families will start to receive payments. Families on middle incomes will receive up to $48 a week more in Working for Families with Labour’s package than under National, plus Best Start payments of $60 a week for children under three.

“Labour will create a Best Start payment for families with babies and toddlers, because every Kiwi kid deserves the best start in life. Nearly 60,000 families a year will be eligible for a $60 a week payment per baby. Families on low and middle incomes will be able to continue to receive the Best Start payment until their child turns three. This will help our families give their children the best start in life.

“The new Winter Energy Payment will help one million New Zealanders keep warm in winter. Together with Labour’s Healthy Homes Guarantee for rentals and new grants for insulation and heating upgrades, the Winter Energy Payment will help thousands of Kiwis avoid getting sick in the colder months. Currently, 1,600 people a year die due to cold and damp housing. These policies will keep many people out of hospital and save lives.

“In total, more than 70 per cent of families with children will receive more from Labour’s package than National’s and one million Kiwis will benefit from the Winter Energy Payment.

“By saving $1.5 billion a year from National’s tax cuts, we have freed up funding for a targeted package that delivers more to families with kids and people in need, and costs less than $900 million a year. This leaves more than $2 billion over four years for Labour to invest in housing, health, education, and infrastructure.

“National showed their priorities with tax changes that deliver $400m to the top 10 per cent of income earners, more than the bottom 60 per cent get. Bill English and I don’t need a $1000 tax cut; not when it means that money isn’t available to restore the social foundations of our country.

“This fresh approach will allow us to make the investments Kiwis want in housing, health, education and infrastructure,” says Andrew Little.