The luck of the draw for Members’ Bills was with the Opposition yesterday with three of theirs drawn:
Two of them – the Income Tax (Universalisation of In-work Tax Credit) Amendment Bill, put forward by Green MP Catherine Delahunty, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill proposed by NZ First’s Winston Peters show the Opposition is bereft of economic sense.
If there is any good in the tax churn that is Working for Families it’s that it incentivises work by ensuring even a low-paid job brings in more money than a benefit.
If people can get the same money for not working as they would for having a job, why would they bother?
This was Labour policy at last year’s election and the Bill has given Labour a dilemma – to stick with the policy, which the electorate rejected, or dump the policy and upset a potential coalition partner?
Peters has had a fixation with the Reserve Bank and its powers for years. His Bill would require it to consider growth, the value of the dollar, export growth and employment as well as inflation which is its current target.
He was in parliament in the 1980s and should still be able to remember the damage wrought by inflation which was raging for much of the decade.
Requiring the Bank to do so much would almost certainly result in higher inflation with little if any positive impact on the other factors.
If he was really interested in employment and the dollar’s value he’d have a bill aimed at reducing impediments to business and entrenching reduced government spending.