Letter of the week: Struggling families deserve credit too
How many commentators when describing announced future changes to Working for Families actually acknowledge the inherent cruelty in this important tax credit? The In Work Tax Credit, a significant payment for families with children, is currently set at a minimum of $72.50/week. Without careful scrutiny, generic comment that WFF payments will be maintained or increased is deceptive. In fact both Labour and National parties promise the IWTC will be denied to any parent/caregiver on benefit (even part benefit) because they are deemed to be not “in work”. How appalling. Parenting is often the most taxing, demanding work adults even undertake — especially with pre-schoolers. To deny this substantial payment to the families who struggle most, is reprehensible, callous and misguided. Every child deserves to thrive and our aging society needs them. All families with children on low incomes, deserve the same level of support whether in paid work or not.
Janfrie Wakim, Epsom.
Thomas Coughlan has made a heroic analysis of the National and Labour taxation proposals as if they were the next government. I agree with Thomas that the squashed bottom — 20 per cent of taxpayers paying 10.5 per cent tax — need relief too and my guess is that they will get it quicker under National than Labour. It should be zero tax on the first $15,000 income in New Zealand.
Gary Carter, Gulf Harbour.
A curse on houses
National is determined to damage the NZ housing situation by permitting foreigners to buy top-end properties. The”independent” experts they hired to support National are neither independent nor experts. They are paid-for mouthpieces for National who have no credible evidence to support their case. It is simple logic that seems to have escaped their failed analysis. I see National’s approach as follows:
1. Reduce available houses in the NZ market by having foreigners buy property.
2. Ignore the fact NZ is deficient by well over 20,000 houses right now.
3. Ignore proven basic economic principles in reducing the supply of houses whilst expecting such reduction to have no effect on the market.
4. Trump-up the deficient ideas by simply repeating the lie hoping people will swallow it.
5. Put forward the plan to support where National plans to get the funds for their other budget plans.
This clearly illustrates how National will sacrifice ordinary New Zealanders’ aspirations by sucking-up to foreigner investors and play to their base resulting in rising market prices.
Dennis Pahl, Tauranga.
The Tertiary Education Commission’s requirement for parity of success for students of different ethnic background is extremely concerning. NZ competes on the international stage for economic success which is vitally tied to its educational standards yet there is no reference to this whatsoever. How does the TEC edict affect standards? The TEC is wrong to use its power to set criteria for academic success or pass rates based on student’s ethnicity.
Doug Armstrong, Glendowie.
Very impressed with Matthew Hooton’s analysis of National’s tax plan shortcomings. The truth is all the balls the Luxon/Willis combo are juggling to entice us to vote for them are underwritten by huge government borrowings inherited from Labour, but without any credible plan from National to repay. It seems absolutely ridiculous for them to be relying on giving tax cuts to the “squeezed middle” (the repetition grates) by opening up the housing market for homes over $2 million plus 15 per cent tax to overseas buyers, when under our current agreement with China this may be an unlawful charge. La-land policy spewing forth in unbelievable quantities. And it brings to mind the old saying: If sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Coralie van Camp, Remuera.
We are a fickle mob. The Nats are promising $14.6 billion to help the “squeezed middle”. Meanwhile, we have insufficient doctors, GP practices need 20-25 per cent more money to stay afloat, sick people are going to overstretched hospital emergency departments. Groups are lining up for pay increases following the raises for teachers and nurses, money is needed for roading, mental health, climate mitigation, housing, and Pharmac needs its already large budget doubled — the list is endless. Everyone wants first world services but no one wants to pay. It’s time to stop being bribed by pollies with promises they are unlikely to be able to keep. Voters are being treated like chooks — we are fickle, being conned and don’t realise it.
Don Hamilton, Rotorua.
Privatisation of the electricity sector was allegedly going to result in lower prices because of improved efficiencies. The real purpose of privatisation was to create profits for shareholders and in that they were wildly successful. Today there are over 30 power companies with 30 sales forces and 30 sets of accounts people making money for shareholders while much of the population struggles to pay for a necessity. The government is comfortable with this situation as it still owns much of the infrastructure and shares in the profits without having to face angry customers. The only way to fix this is for the government to buy back all the electricity generation and distribution businesses.
Bob van Ruyssevelt, Glendene.
The elegance of the current climate dividend is that it works both ends of the problem. It taxes polluters and assists those working to solve the issue. Giving it to households, as National proposes, is foolish. The money could be spent on buying a gas guzzling SUV or flying to Bali. It’s the climate, stupid.
Ian Swney, Morrinsville.
A quick word
Caren Wycliffe, now Fox, was an outstanding lecturer at Victoria University Law School. Her professional ability and calm unbiased presence promises a capable and fair, first wahine chair of the Waitangi Tribunal. Mary Tallon, Hauraki.
Training in financial literacy in schools should include defence against the unrelenting barrage of enticements to squander money on consumer luxuries. Norm Murray, Browns Bay.
Sorry Mikey, Chris L can’t tell us whether Winnie is in or out because he doesn’t know at this point whether he needs him to be in or out. Uzra Casuri Balouch, Schnapper Rock.
Mike Hosking complains that rather than talking about ‘what to do with Winston’ we should be discussing important issues. He then berates Luxon for not wanting to talk about Winston. Make your mind up, Mike. Chris Elias, Mission Bay.
While the leader of the Opposition continues to espouse his party’s credentials as the company’s — sorry — country’s only credible economic managers, has nobody noticed the fate of Jenny Shipley?DB Hill, Auckland.
Whilst the rest of the world is being destroyed by plastic, Russia is being destroyed by cardboard. Gerald Payman, Mt Albert.
Why is Labour spending all its time attacking National’s proposals rather than claiming credit for its own achievements? Nick Hamilton, Remuera.
Another rugby review. Like the second harbour crossing, improving infrastructure, more public space at the ports of Auckland, getting rid of pine slash. All talk no action. Bruce Tubb, Devonport
While blurring faces for criminals caught in acts like theft and intimidation serves fairness and legal principles, it may not be as necessary when there’s unmistakable guilt. Public accountability can be an effective deterrent. Alan Walker, St Heliers.
If only we had someone to vote for with the eloquence and vision of Robert F Kennedy who said about GDP: “It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.” Huw Dann, Mt Eden.
The reason rents won’t fall is due to interest rates doubling and in some cases tripling. People are quick to say National’s tax plan won’t help. It will stop rents increasing by stabilising the economy which in turn means the banks won’t raise interest rates. Mark Young, Orewa.
National has announced its tax policy to help the “squeezed middle” and Labour has refused to implement a CGT or wealth tax. It has become apparent both parties are doing little but try to attract floating voters. Hugh Anderson, Rothesay Bay.