Welfare for Families to stay

National will not change Welfare for Families if it’s in government.

John Key said the decision was made to give some certainty to those receiving assistance.

“A large number of New Zealand families get Working for Families.  National understands this. I know it is particularly tough out there for families with kids. These are families with mums and dads who are working long hours, trying to get by on a modest wage in the absence of tax cuts under this Labour Government. We don’t want to make life more difficult for them.

“While National has long been concerned about how far up the income scale Working for Families stretches, a careful analysis of possible changes at the higher income levels showed that it was not worthwhile making them.

“I have long held concerns, in addition, about high effective marginal tax rates acting as a disincentive to people under WFF, but we are confident that this issue will be addressed by our tax package.

“As I have always said, I am interested in what works.  National acknowledges that Working for Families payments are an important part of the income of many families.

“Despite concerns we hold about the system, I consider that offering people certainty is much more important in these tough economic times.”

I don’t like the idea of middle and upper income people receiving welfare but philosophical purity doesn’t win elections. And the comment about high marginal tax rates being addressed by National’s tax package gives me some hope because families keeping more of what they earn won’t need extra by way of a benefit.

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