Friday, 23 May 2008

Tax cuts will not eliminate poverty -­ Maori Party

Budget reaction 22 May 2008 The Maori Party says a $10.6 billion tax-cut package is a drop in the bucket, when there is much more to be done to address inequalities and need. "The tax cuts barely relieve the huge pressures on many families, and we really wanted to see a much greater emphasis on eliminating poverty," said Co-leader Dr Pita Sharples. "There is a negligible cut for those on less than $10,000, and a slightly bigger cut for the next group earning up to $20,000. But the biggest cut is for those between $60 ­ 80,000," said Dr Sharples. "So while someone living in poverty will get an extra $10-15 per week, a person on $80,000 will receive around $55 per week. "It will take two years to feel the full effects," he said. "And what is worse, discrimination continues against those who rely on benefits." "We need to recall that it is not just unemployed people who need help with feeding their families, but also those in part-time work and on low pay rates. "Of the 1.8 million people struggling to make ends meet, ten percent are children whom the Child Poverty Action Group has revealed are living in severe and significant hardship. "The Maori Party has called for food to be exempt from GST, and for people on incomes of less than $25,000 not to pay income tax. "These changes would have an immediate impact on people who cannot make ends meet. The tax changes announced today will not eliminate this poverty in the midst of plenty," said Dr Sharples.

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