I welcome yesterday’s announcement that Labour will, if re-elected, spend hundreds of millions more on family support handouts. Never has the electorate been given a clearer contrast between two approaches.
It has also made several things very clear. They are:
1) The debate is over about whether National’s tax policy is affordable. Labour have conceded this one lock stock and barrel after months of scare mongering.
2) Labour will never ever in 100 years even agree to reducing tax rates. Given the choice, yesterday they chose to spend it on handouts.
3) Working for Families is not tax relief. For administrative reasons it is done through the IRD but it is effectively social welfare benefits. You even have to apply to get it (and only 60% have), unlike tax cuts which apply at all taxpayers automatically.
4) This package effectively makes almost every family in NZ a welfare recipient.
5) Students entering the workforce will face higher tax rates so that families earning over $100,000 get subsidised by them. Seriously.
6) Elderly NZers who have income on top of national super will be over-taxed so that families earning over $100,000 get subsidised by them.
7) This is wealth redistribution on a massive scale. Not from rich to poor, but from anyone without children to almost anyone with children. A lawyer on $90,000 will get a welfare handout for having more kids.
8) The difference between Labour and National is stark. National will let NZers keep more of their own money. Labour will never ever give people money back, but instead spend it on your behalf by giving it to target groups as it sees fit.
9) This demolishes the concept of the welfare state as a safety net for those in need. It entrenches what is somewhere between socialistic and communistic principles that have the state take more money than it needs, so it can equalise incomes.