Green Party policy good for workers, good for families - PSA
17 Jul 2017
The Public Service Association welcomes the Green Party’s bold families and income policy package because it would be good for workers and the economy, and would make significant steps towards restoring the safety net for unemployed New Zealanders and those in precarious low-income work.
"We’re delighted to see the Greens tackling the big issues like income inequality, a worn-down welfare state and a tax system that isn’t working for the poorest New Zealanders," says Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary.
The PSA supports the policy’s commitment to take better care of the most vulnerable members of society, exemplified in proposals to reform and reshape Working for Families, lower the bottom tax rate and create a new rate for the highest earners, and raise the minimum wage incrementally with the goal of it reaching 66 percent of the average wage.
"For a nation with the resources New Zealand does, we have staggering rates of poverty and a growing disparity between rich and poor that ill-advised tax cuts and welfare sanctions have exacerbated and then entrenched," says Ms Polaczuk.
"For our members - many of whom are on low incomes - the adjustments to Working for Families and the support for single parents would have a major positive impact on their lives."
"The OECD has previously warned that rising income inequality in New Zealand is a threat to economic growth, and everyone in society suffers as a result - rich and poor."
The PSA has recently published Progressive Thinking: Ten perspectives on tax; an edited book on tax policy in theory and practice, and several of its contributors highlighted structural issues in the tax system as being among the largest barriers to a more equal and humane society.
"Our members have told us that accessible and high-quality public services, better wages and less income inequality are their priorities for the election."
"This plan goes some way to addressing those issues, and we commend the Greens for not shying away from the important issues."