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Low-income families better off in Australia

By MSN NZ Money staff
13:30 AEST Tue Sep 13 2011
Family heading across the Tasman
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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.

User comments
I came over here 3 years ago, and even though I have owned a number of houses back in NZ, I built a new house in the Gold Coast and was given $21,000 free from the government as a first home buyers grant. Sold it after 6 months and kept the money.The house I built would have cost $200-$300, 000 more in South Auckland on a smaller section.My son came over with just enough money to survive got a job and built his new home with no deposit except for the First Home buyers Grant, he couldnt afford a new home back in Auckland.Come on NZ help the young ones out.
i live in new zealand and have 3 children,I am surprised to see the amount aussie parents get for 1 child, I get the same amount 4 3 children, with 1 income coming in. The gap is huge! anyone know how much in oz 4 3 children?
aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi god bless australia
i know so many people who have gone over there, form young families and young people. seems nz are jsut loosing the future generation and money earners. i dont know anyone whos moved there that found it hard to get a job. as the australians know we are moving for the money so we get the job easier too
This article has said it all...that is why we made the decision 3 weeks ago to move to Perth, and since we have been here we have noticed such a huge difference. Australia is a family country, they do put children first and our family assistances tax, is so much more then wat nz eva gave us. Its a huge decision to make for families back hme and i stringly advice you to comtemplate it seriously. Altho its not as friendly agreen like beautiful new zealand u learn to adjust and get on wif it here. U soon realise ur family is better off fianacially and lifestyle wise. We simply cudnt get ahead decently back hme and we were a wrkn class family. Its ashame nz is let dwn hugely in that area.
Yep I receive more money here for sure but Family Assistance alone isn't going to support your family....you still have to work and unless you are qualified up to your eyeballs or have years of experience in a specialist field you best be ready to take on any job you can find. And sure pay is fantastic ....when you work the 60 hours a week that they offer you.....sometimes you have to travel for over an hour just to get to work, too so there goes that extra $100 family assistance we get a week..... the grass is greener over here for some, but certainly not all.....and remember on top of that you have to deal with australians and their funny accents and you aren't allowed to kill any animal or they'll lynch you....aint no 10 points for a hit and run possum strike over here! They dont even make hokey pokey ice cream and its hot as all hell .....all I can say is whats up with that man??
wake up new zealand
Thanks for the article - this will definitely mean we'll probably move to aussie.
It is time that we became a state of Australia just so our children have a future if we don,t we are heading towards third world status or are going to let pride get in the way.