The passage of a new law to relieve workers subject to what the government recognised as "unnecessary" secondary tax is going to make a meaningful difference to PSA members from 1 April - particularly members in low paid jobs.
"The PSA welcomes these changes to reduce the burden on workers of paying more tax than they rightly should by eliminating secondary tax," says Melissa Woolley, PSA assistant national secretary.
"Large numbers of our members working in support worker positions hold down two or more jobs. They have been grossly disadvantaged by both the different rate imposed by secondary tax, problems with tax coding and the waiting time to get tax refunds.
"PSA members we have spoken with see the change as a sign they are finally being treated more fairly.
"These are workers who don’t have the luxury of choice when it comes to having to work more than one job to put food on the table.
"Other severe pressures they face are limits put on the hours available for them to work in any given job and on a demanding schedule further worsened by DHB tendering practices, and with high travel costs".
PSA member voices - - Helen and Michelle, support workers who have each been working two jobs:
Helen: "Even though I am a good budgeter every little bit counts. As a low income earner I feel as if this government is actually thinking about me by removing what I would call a penalty for having to work two jobs. I’m excited that thousands of other people in my situation are going to be relatively better off with the removal of the secondary tax system. It has been a system that has got people into financial trouble and has been extremely unfair".
Michelle: "For someone in my position who is struggling to have $20 left over after each pay day, every cent makes a difference. I have been working as a support worker in home support and feel I have been continually disadvantaged by the secondary tax. I’m glad it’s going and hope that the changeover is handled smoothly".