Court of Appeal Hearing 28 & 29 May - join us in solidarity

Please support CPAG’s legal challenge in the Court of Appeal.   28 - 29  May 2013, Cnr Molesworth & Aitken Streets, Wellington.  Begins 10am on the 28 May - be there if you can and spread the word!

Latest media coverage:

Dominion Post, Opinion: Tax break penalises poorest kids

Radio New Zealand, Working for Families to be challenged at Court of Appeal,

Many low income families are left out of parts of Working for Families package that was supposed to reduce child poverty.  Their children do not enjoy the same tax-funded support to eat well, keep healthy, warm and dry, and to participate in school activities and sport as others.  Their parents often work in a casualised labour market and may be on a benefit. Meeting rigid work tests for the child payment (misleadingly) called the In Work Tax Credit is often not possible. The poorest families in New Zealand miss out on at least $60 a week, a lot of money that is rightfully theirs.   

Private charity alone cannot solve this problem and we will not see change in our disgraceful child poverty figures until we return to the principle long ago held dear by New Zealanders that all children have a fair go, that no child is left out.  Maori and Pasifika children have high poverty rates and make up one half of the 270,000 in poverty in New Zealand so they are affected disproportionately.

This case is complex and the Court of Appeal hearing represents the culmination of detailed and technical legal work over many years.  We argue that the Working for Families package went through no public consultation process - no green paper, no white paper, no select committee and it was passed into law in one day.  No account was taken of the 230,000 children who would miss out, despite New Zealand’s human rights obligations to protect all children.

We are seeking a declaration that the In Work Tax Credit is unjustified discrimination.  By doing so the principle of equal treatment of all children will be upheld.  Such a decision will begin the long journey back to affirming the basic values of all New Zealanders and provide a guide for needed policy changes.