The unintended consequences of Working For Families

I have a friend who works as a personal assistant. She has one child and is a solo mum. She is also in receipt of Working for Families.

This was ticking along nicely until to day when she received a letter from Work and Income advising her that her income had gone up and that she was now unable to qualify for her Community Services Card. (don't worry I have scan of the letter)

She thought that this wasn't right and rang Work and Income. Their explanation was that Her Working For Families payment was income and thus she was now over the threshold for the Community Services Card.

But hang on a minute, the Working for Families website states that the payment is actually a tax credit, even Helen and Michael says so. They say so repeatedly ad nauseum, it is almost a mantra "Working for families Tax Credits

How then does a tax credit suddenly morph into income? Either it is a tax credit, you know getting your own money back or it is income, it can't be both. Work and Income think it is income.

I wonder how many other people are getting the slap from Work and Income over this? I bet it is thousands.

How on earth does Work and Income consider a tax credit, ie your own money that you paid in tax being given back to you, income? How come IRD doesn't agree with Working for families, because that was her next call to IRD and they have her correct income details and no mention of WFF payments as income, they are after all tax credits aren't they.

There is more to come on this I can assure you, but this is clear cut example of the difference between real tax cuts and welfare payments dressed up as tax credits.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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