Working for Families Loses Focus

August 17, 2015 New Zealand Taxation

The Working for Families system has lost focus, and is no longer doing enough to help families.

The Working for Families Scheme has slowly transformed away from supporting families with low-incomes and into a system which forces families to enter the workforce, according to the Child Poverty Action Group.

The Group claimed that over the course of the last year approximately 381 000 families received payments from the Working for Families, while five years ago the number of families receiving such benefits was 11 percent higher.

Spending on the scheme has also dropped, as last year approximately NZD 2.5 billion was given out through the system, while this year the IRD estimates that NZD 2.4 billion will be paid out.

It was noted that the fiscal incentives for parents to enter the workforce under the Working for Families system have overtaken the support that parents will receive to house and feed children.

Photo By: Ian Carroll