Greens' family policy draws strong reactions, condemned by ACT as 'communism without the stealth'

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NZN

The Greens' families policy is getting strong reactions as is co-leader Metiria Turei's admission of a benefit fraud in her youth.

Turei confessed she sub-let her home and lied to Work and Income, as a single mum claiming benefits
Source: 1 NEWS

The Greens want to raise the tax rate on incomes over $150,000 to 40 per cent from 33 per cent, increase benefits by 20 per cent and remove financial sanctions against beneficiaries if they are in a position to govern after the September election.

They also want to increase the minimum wage by $2 to $17.75 an hour next year and increase it to 66 per cent of the average wage by 2020.

The policy announcement from Ms Turei yesterday came with a revelation she had not disclosed income from flatmates when she was receiving a benefit as a solo mother while training to be a lawyer in the 1990s.

The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union said Ms Turei must pay the money back, while Finance Minister Steven Joyce said it was disappointing to see a senior politician saying they were not prepared to go by the rules.

The Council of Trade Unions welcomed the policies to address inequity and poverty.

"The Green Party has set out a comprehensive strategy to improve the lives of our lowest paid working people, those who are unemployed and parents," says CTU secretary Sam Huggard.

ACT Leader David Seymour condemned the policy as "communism without the stealth".

"If you stay at home and smoke drugs all day you get a pay rise. If you get up and go to work you get a tax hike," he said.

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