More Kiwis look set to cross the ditch following the release of a report revealing family support for low-income families is almost double in Australia to that in New Zealand.
The Child Poverty Action Group argue the “state of our children” analysis shows that cuts made in this year’s budget in Working for Families tax credits will create an even greater “Tasman gap” over the coming years.
"They don't appear to hurt much, but over time the differences between us and Australia will become ever starker," Auckland University economist Susan St John told the NZ Herald.
She warned that while the cuts were subtle, they would still impact the community up until the 2018 deadline when the changes will be fully phased in.
One-child families who move to Australia can increase their benefits from $88 a week to $217. Currently, low-income working one-child families are entitled to $148 tax credits a week but the Child Poverty Action Group argue that allowing for inflation of five per cent every two years, this will drop to $120 by 2018 for families earning $36,827 a year reducing tax credits to $35,000 a year. The reduction for every extra dollar earned above this threshold will increase from 20c to 25c.
Tax credits in Australia are fully inflation-indexed, so by 2018 one-child families will be entitled to $262 a week.
And it’s not simply a case of our Tasman cousins being richer. St John argues that the Australian tax credits reflect different values to NZ by putting children, rather than paid work, at the centre of the policy.
"Our policies flow from trying to increase the incentive for paid work, whereas their policy design reflects much more the value of the child and the value of child-rearing," she said.