Family Assistance Figures Correct - English

  • Bill English

Revenue Minister Bill English today invited economist Brian Easton to a briefing from Inland Revenue on how much better-off many low to middle-income families were compared to two years ago.

"My calculations show the impact of tax reductions and extra family assistance on the weekly income of three different families. Economist Brian Easton doubts whether my figures are correct because he says they "are far too high" (ODT 12/4/99).

"Professor Easton may not want to believe it, but I can assure him the figures are right. Low to middle-income working families are now much better off than they were in 1996 because of tax reductions and increased family assistance. When you add the effects of lower mortgage interest rates, many families will be more than $150 a week better off.

"Everyone benefits from tax reductions, but the Government has ensured that low to middle-income working families benefit more by targeting extra family assistance payments to them.

"Over the next few months about 50,000 low to middle-income working families are likely to claim their family assistance entitlement as an end-of-year lump sum when they file their tax returns. This would see about $180 million flowing into families' pockets, or nearly $3,500 per family.

"Since 1996 the Government has put an extra $3 billion into families' pockets through extra family assistance and tax reductions. Helping families help themselves is what the Government's policies are all about," said Mr English.