Thursday, March 03, 2011

No savings in WFF cuts

John Key thinks the government can help pay for rebuilding Christchurch by cutting Working For Families for "high income earners".

Bullshit. But don't take it from me - take it from Bill English back in 2008:

“A careful analysis of Working For Families reveals there would have only been small savings had National opted to remove those on higher incomes from the scheme.

“Taking higher-income families out of WFF saves very little money, at least in the short term.

“As at 31 March 2007, around 1,000 families earning over $100,000 were receiving WFF, and payments to those families totalled only $1.1 million.

$1.1 million is chump change for government, and SFA compared to the ~$5 billion cost the government is looking at for the earthquake. So why are Key and English talking about it? To get us to buy their myth that they can cut WFF at the top while not leaving anyone else worse off. As I've already pointed out, it can't be done. Any WFF cut which affects those on higher incomes will inevitably reduce entitlements for those on lower incomes as well. And that's where the real savings are.

In short, we're being spun here, sold a cut on the basis that it will only affect the very well off, when in fact it will go much deeper and wider than that. Key and English are lying to us. Its dishonest politics, from dishonest men. But if they were open and upfront about their intentions, then they wouldn't have a hope in hell of selling them to us.

[Hat-tip: The Standard]