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English rejects 'single child tax' claim

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/05/2017

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Prime Minister Bill English has rejected opposition claims changes to taxes in the budget will leave families with one child worse off than those without kids.

Labour says under changes to the Working For Families and tax thresholds introduced in last week's budget, some families with a single child will actually benefit less than someone who earns the same amount but don't have children.

"A one-child family with one parent earning $56,000 a year actually gets $830 a year less in National's package than the same family with no child," Labour leader Andrew Little said.

"How is that a family package?"

Its figures say single-earner families making between $50,000 and $56,000 will receive a few dollars a week less than if they have one child, while those with one child aged between 16 and 18 will receive slightly less than childless families at all income thresholds up to $59,000.

However, the figures don't include increases to the Accommodation Supplement and show all families still receive an increase of some amount.

But Mr English called the objection "a nonsense criticism".

"The families all benefit from the change in taxes. They're all better off," he told Newshub on Monday.

"It is a very complex system, but the way we've approached it means that those with children and high housing costs, almost without exception, do better."

He said the increases to the Accommodation Supplement were also very dependant on individual families, meaning it was hard to tell exactly how each person benefited.

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