Herald on baby bribe

January 31st, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The editorial:

David Cunliffe delivered one indisputably accurate comment during his State of the Nation address this week. “We need,” he said, “to put our resources where they will do the most good.” The Labour Party leader was referring to the requirement of any government to focus on children, but his comment was appropriate for any spending of taxpayer money. Why, then, does he propose paying families earning up to $150,000 a sum of $60 a week for each newborn baby until the child’s first birthday? Clearly, most people earning anywhere near the top of that range and many middle-income earners have no need for such money. Government resources would, therefore, be being put where they do the least good.

It’s an attempt to buy votes, but one that I think will fail. Most families that are better off would rather receive tax cuts than welfare. Better to pay less tax in the first place, than to be over-taxed and then have the Government hand back to you some of your own tax money as welfare.

 

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21 Responses to “Herald on baby bribe”

  1. Manolo (13,299 comments) says:

    Most families that are better off would rather receive tax cuts than welfare. Better to pay less tax in the first place, than to be over-taxed and then have the Government hand back to you some of your own tax money as welfare.

    Good on you, DPF.
    A correct argument and solid rebuttal of National’s current support for Working For Families (WFF).

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  2. SPC (5,334 comments) says:

    Why the Herald focus on the first year – it is a three year $60 payment.

    Is this an expression of support for the concept, just not the untargeted first year payment of it?

    If so, then they would also oppose parental leave being paid at the much higher rate of $500 a week – also out of taxpayer money and not just to those earning under $150,000 but fully universal to working women (and regardless of their partners income)

    After all a woman looking for work cannot even get the dole if she has a working partner. Even one on little more than the MW.

    If one supports a universal parental leave payment from taxpayers, opposing a $60 payment for 52 weeks is wrong – the parental leave payment even for 14 weeks is a greater amount.

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  3. Pete George (22,713 comments) says:

    The end result of this week’s Labour debacle is the finger is being pointed at the culprits. And it turns out to be those nasty right winged loving political journalists. It may be spontaneous (or not) but whatever, there has been a splurge of blog posts about how the media is all stacked against Labour and Cunliffe.

    Labour and the nasty biased media

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  4. SPC (5,334 comments) says:

    DPF, one cannot credibly argue against the need for living wages for families because of our tax credits in support for families, then call for tax credits to be replaced by tax cuts.

    You must know that low income families are dependent on tax credits greater than the tax they pay – so tax cuts in place of tax credits would mean they lost support and thus were dependent on higher wages to support the living of their families.

    [DPF: I don't say all tax credits should go. I say tax credits should only go to those on low incomes.

    Preferably one would have a tax system where you pay no tax at all until you earn enough to support yourself]

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  5. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Better to pay less tax in the first place, than to be over-taxed and then have the Government hand back to you some of your own tax money as welfare.

    It’s where the word intaxication came from.

    Intaxication – the mild feeling of euphoria you experience you feel on receiving a tax refund, before realising it was your money to begin with.

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  6. Sofia (817 comments) says:

    Why Labour Best Start is Labour BS

    There are about 50,000 children under the age of three living in poverty in New Zealand households.
https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/default/files/issues/labour_best_start_-_best_start_payment_factsheet.pdf

    That’s roughly 16,667children born into ‘poverty’ each year.
    So another 36,113 children [2 years 2 months] until this policy comes into effect for children born on or after 1 April 2016.
    So the 50,000 Labour mentions exist right now, increases an interim 36,113 children to 86,113, who get nothing before the scheme kicks in 1 April 2016.

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  7. burt (7,785 comments) says:

    Sofia

    2016 … Just before Labour needs to win a second term – who’d have thunk it …

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  8. somewhatthoughtful (450 comments) says:

    Sorry, couldn’t see your argument through the smoke and mirrors.

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  9. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    And is this really the best start for David Cunliffe who is meant to be so clever, such an orator and strategist – everything he has touched this week has been a cock up.

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  10. wreck1080 (3,719 comments) says:

    why do some bribes work and others fail? Helen clarks bribe to students to give free loans worked.

    Ironically, those students are probably in the workforce now, and paying for the free loans of todays students. Maybe not such a good idea huh!!!

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  11. dime (9,351 comments) says:

    Do we think National will come up with a sweet, sweet tax cut this year?

    Maybe drop the tax rate for 48-70k down from 30 to 28? 70K = down do 30?

    Give something back to the middle class and up?

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  12. nickb (3,658 comments) says:

    dime – hope so. Instead of giving ridiculous parental leave bribes which make a mockery of National’s free market credentials, IMO they should be trying to align the top trust, company and personal tax rate at 28%… that would make for such a better and simpler tax system

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  13. srylands (383 comments) says:

    ?why do some bribes work and others fail? Helen clarks bribe to students to give free loans worked. ”

    While I think it is irrational and poor policy, there was a widespread disquiet across many families about student loan debt. Governments had tinkered with the policy for years but students were always rioting (figuratively). It was one of those student issues where the disquiet extended to parents and grandparents. Parents can see their kids loan statements with 4 figures and they get nervous.

    Big difference to $60 per week for kids not born yet.

    I think National could have got away with introducing interest = CPI on student loans when they had the capital in 2008. The public might have worn it. But it is too late now.

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  14. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Scrap the bloody lot. If people want kids, that is their business, but it is not my business to feed everyone in sundry’s children of monetary convenience. Sick of the whole bloody argument. You breed em, you effen well feed em.

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  15. Lindsay Addie (1,129 comments) says:

    Please everyone just shush while Labour and DC are making a total balls up. It’s bad manners to interrupt someone while they’re making a mistake!
    As for the policy and its release its what I would call a Heath Robinson arrangement which Wikipedia defines as a “description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contrivance”.

    Instead of goofy policies like DC’s why not have a fair and well thought out tax cut for the populace?

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  16. infused (634 comments) says:

    Yes Pete – they are in damage control. Big time. I’ve never seen something blow up like this before. They are lashing out on theshitlist.org.nz like I’ve never seen before.

    Any type of reply is pure verbal abuse. Thank fuck I am banned from that shit hole.

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  17. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    So, Labour want to spend resources on making sure resources get to where they aren’t needed?

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  18. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    A dumb comment to quote. One could easily ask why the government pays millionaires superannuation. The fact is that Labour’s policy will assist primarily low and middle income earners which is clearly the demographic aimed at.

    I suggest you read Ian Hassall’s comments over at Pundit as to why this policy is necessary instead of quoting stupid comments from Granny.

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  19. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Of course when voters go to the polls later this year, will they be thinking of Granny’s irrational comments about this policy or will they be thinking about the effect of the policy on their kids?

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  20. Scott1 (444 comments) says:

    Hopefully they will be thinking about the cost of the policy and its effectiveness and probably not vote for it. But of course I’m probably expecting too much.

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  21. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Hopefully they will be thinking about the cost of the policy

    I hope they do, and at the same time think about the $35 million handout to Rio Tinto and $125 million to James Cameron.

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