National’s Transitional Relief Package

has released its transitional relief package, to be funded out of the deposit guarantee to banks. Details:

  • Assistance will be available until they get another job and their circumstances improve, or for up to 16 weeks ( is 12 weeks)
  • National’s relief package will initially be available for two years (Labour’s is permanent)
  • Targeted at people who lose their jobs, and as a result either go on to a benefit or rely on the income of a relatively low-paid spouse or partner, in contrast to Labour’s relief package, which includes payments to people who are made redundant yet have a well-paid spouse and limited outgoings.
  • If a family loses eligibility for the Working for Families in-work tax credit ($60 a week for most families) due to redundancy, then they will be able to keep it for 16 weeks. This means that you don’t ave both your wages disappear and your WFF reduce at the same time.
  • Also the maximum Accommodation Supplement will be increased for eligible families by $100 a week for 16 weeks.

National has given three examples of how different families would do under National and Labour’s packages:

Low paid sole parent of $35K with one child

Current Weekly Net Income $712 a week
Redundant under National $541 a week
Redundant under Labour $425 a week

One income family of $70K with two children

Current Weekly Net Income $1,077 a week
Redundant under National $778 a week
Redundant under Labour $618 a week

Two income family of $200K with no children

Current Weekly Net Income $2,684 a week
Redundant under National $1,342 a week
Redundant (one not both) under Labour $1,649 a week

So National’s package will help the sole parent family on low income and the mid income family with two children, while Labour’s will not help them at all. And in contrast National won’t help the couple with no kids who are still on $100K, while Labour will give them over $300 a week.

If the calculations are correct (and they are taken from National’s policy paper) then I would say National has targeted it a lot better.

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