In-Work Tax Credit Does Not Breach Human Rights
December 19, 2008 New Zealand Taxation
The Human Rights Review Tribunal has ruled that the In-Work Tax Credit does not breach the Bill of Rights or Human Rights Acts.
On the 3rd of June, 2008 a trial headed by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) against the Crown sought to find whether the In-Work Tax Credit aspect of the Government’s Working-for-Families package broke human rights.
The crux of the argument lay on the fact that to receive the $60 tax credit, a sole parent was required to be in paid employment for 20 hours per week, or for 30 hours in the case of two parents. According to CPAG almost 200,000 children in New Zealand were therefore discriminated against by the government as their parents were exclusively on benefits, or not working enough to qualify for the tax credit.
Furthermore, the Human Rights Review Tribunal found that not only was there no breach of the Human Rights Act of 1993 but also that the benefits collectively garnered by the In-Work Tax Credit far outweigh any discrimination that may arise from it.
In a Beehive media release, the Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett stated that she acknowledged that CPAG was concerned for the interest of low-income families, but she also acknowledged that the Government was concerned with creating incentives for families to find employment and not become dependant on welfare.