The Green party has recently released their policy program for helping the poor:
[Turei’s] party wants to extend Working For Families tax credits by $60 a week for the poorest 140,000 households, reinstate the Training Incentive Allowance for university-level courses to help beneficiaries get educated and into work, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and create minimum standards for rental properties to ensure they were warm and healthy.
I like the idea of helping poor families but is the best plan really to:
- raise marginal tax rates on them,
- give them cheaper bachelor’s degrees,
- increase the barriers to entering the workforce at the minimum wage; and,
- increase the cost of rental properties?
I’m sure Matt will have a more thoughtful analysis up soon but does this policy really tackle the problems that our poorest citizens and their children face? I don’t know for sure but I imagine that the cost of a university degree isn’t a binding constraint for many of them, for example.
It’s going to be fascinating to see all the parties releasing more meaty policy agendas as we approach the election!