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Labour’s ‘‘Families Package’’ announced yesterday would scrap tax cuts, boost Working for Families and introduce a universal $60 a week ‘‘baby bonus’’.
Labour leader Andrew Little said 70% of families would be better off than under National’s package.
This would be done through a further boost of Working for Families by increasing payments and extending it to 30,000 more families on middle incomes at a further cost of $370 million a year — meaning an overall increase for the scheme of $743 million a year.
Mr Little said Labour would use about $890 million of the $1.5 billion saved from scrapping the tax cuts for a more generous Working for Families scheme and other help for low-income families, while putting the remainder into public services and infrastructure.
The package would honour the party’s commitment to reduce child poverty.
All parents would receive $60 a week for the first year of the child’s life.
For parents receiving Paid Parental Leave the payments would start after it ends.
Parents who earn less than $79,000 will get the $60 until their child turns 3.
Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson said every family that earned less than $62,000 would be better off than they were today.
National Party campaign chairman Steven Joyce said Labour wanted to take $2.5 billion from Kiwi families from next April, when National’s package takes effect, with a ‘‘pale imitation of the Budget’s Family Incomes package’’.
‘‘In their desperation to avoid shifting tax thresholds, they’ve dreamt up an even more confusing array of new and old subsidies while taxing low and middle income people at ever higher rates as their wages grow.’’
He said someone on the average wage would face an annual tax hike of $1100, while Labour would fork out a $3000 annual baby bonus for a family earning $150,000.
It had come up with ‘‘a convoluted spaghetti of entitlements’’