Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Labour's big bribe for 2008?

I originally wrote this post in June last year but I never hit the publish button. Some conceited streak in me must have worried about giving Labour ideas.

It occurs to me that Labour has reintroduced the 1945 Family Benefit (abolished in 1990) with its Working For families tax credits.

The really popular aspect of the family benefit was its capitalisation potential, also the most popular campaign issue of 1957. Walter Nash hoped capitalisation would boost home ownership and the birthrate. All of a child's family benefit could be paid in a lump sum.

So what would be a really popular campaign promise from Labour next year? To allow parents to have family tax credits paid as a lump sum to be used to buy their first home. I wouldn't put it past them.

My caution was a waste of time. The following is from Jim Anderton's Orewa speech last night;

Mr Anderton also said families should be allowed to capitalise their family support on their first child - such as Working for Families and in-work payments - for a deposit on a house, saying he knew it could work "because that's how I bought my house".

It's a goer. And I predict National will say 'me too'.

1 comment:

scrubone said...

Labour seem to specialise in making the worst suspicions reality - see EFA!