LEANZ Auckland November Seminar

Next Law and Economics Association of New Zealand (LEANZ) seminar in Auckland:

Using the law as a last resort in policy making: challenging the ‘Working for Families’ redistributive package (Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) v the Attorney General, 2008)

Speakers: Dr Susan St John, University of Auckland Business School

Date: Thursday 13 November 2008

Venue: Buddle Findlay, Level 18, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Tower, 188 Quay Street, Auckland

Time: 5.15 pm for 5.30 pm start, followed by refreshments

RSVP and topic details below

RSVP: to: sophie.brooke@chapmantripp.com

Topic: Between 2005 and 2007 the government implemented a far reaching redistributive package called Working for Families. A catch-up package for families was well overdue. The process of development of this policy however was characterised by a marked lack of consultation with key stakeholders, and a lack of clear economic analysis of the way in which the goals would be achieved. Working for Families perpetuated a major element of discrimination that is entirely lacking in the Australian approach to family assistance. By adopting two goals for Working for Families (reducing child poverty, and improving work incentives), both outcomes have been compromised.

Earlier this year, CPAG v the Attorney General was heard under Part 1a of the Human Rights Act 2008, in the Human Rights Tribunal. CPAG alleges that the In Work Tax Credit is discriminatory, causing material harm to many thousands of children with no redeeming work incentive justification. The outcome is awaited, and may have major implications for any agreement or coalition after the election.

Speaker: Dr Susan St John is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at The University of Auckland Business School. Susan’s research and teaching interests are focused on retirement policy issues, macroeconomics and the economics of the public sector.

Susan’s current research interests include taxation, pensions, long-term care insurance, accident compensation, family law and economics and income support. Her current projects include an analysis of family incomes in New Zealand, the welfare state and targeting, the role of home equity release and annuities in New Zealand, international pension systems, the economic implications of New Zealand’s Accident Compensation scheme ACC, savings schemes and tax reforms.

Susan is the economics spokesperson for Child Poverty Action group Inc (“CPAG”).