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Budget includes 'teenager tax': Little

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/05/2017

Up to 6000 families may actually be worse off under the government's budget changes, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

Mr Little is calling it a "teenagers tax" and says when combining changes to the Working for Families scheme and taxes in last week's budget, families with children aged between 16 and 18 may actually be worse off, depending on their income.

While some of those families would only lose a small amount, it showed there were gaps and anomalies in the budget as the government played "catch-up", he told RNZ.

But he admitted Labour's figures didn't include increases to the Accommodation Supplement.

"The accommodation supplement will vary pretty heavily across regions, obviously, and depending on what your rent is. It's hard to predict a single outcome when it comes to the accommodation supplement . You can predict what's happening with the tax changes and the working for families changes," he said.

However, Mr Little said Labour's major concern with the budget was spending skewing towards the wealthy.

"Five out of every seven dollars goes into the tax package. There's more money spent on tax breaks for the top 10 per cent of earners than there are for the total Working for Families package. Which is the more targeted part of the package," he said.

The criticism comes after Labour on Monday said some families without children would actually get more from the budget than those with kids.

Prime Minister Bill English rejected that criticism, saying all families with children and high housing costs benefited from the package "almost without exception".

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