Prepared by David S. Liebschutz, August 1999
with funding from the sponsors of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy
David Liebschutz is Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis at the Center for Governmental Research in Albany, New York and a Professor of Public Service at the University at Albany-SUNY’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy. Prior to joining the Center for Governmental Research in 2009, David was assistant dean for career and alumni programs at Rockefeller College. Previously, he spent four years as Executive Director of the University at Albany Hillel, a nonprofit organization serving more than 3,000 students. In addition, he is the author of numerous articles and co-wrote the book State Tax Relief for the Poor. Mr. Liebschutz earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Yale University and holds law and policy degrees from Duke University.
During David’s Ian Axford Fellowship exchange to New Zealand he was based at the Treasury in Wellington, where he researched the major issues surrounding the interface between tax and social welfare systems in New Zealand, particularly as they affect those in transition from dependence on the social welfare system to independence from it.
This report was done under the sponsorship of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy. It presents a summary of the major issues surrounding the interface between the tax and social welfare systems in New Zealand, particularly as they affect those in transition from dependence on the social welfare system to independence from it.
The paper first looks at how the systems evolved to their current state and what their basic structure is. It then explores the views of various players within the tax and benefit systems and proposes an analytic framework from which to judge future programmatic initiatives.
Finally, it proposes that in order to increase the level of the debate and the dialogue in this area, there should be some new initiatives tried such as increased programme evaluation, enhanced work incentives and simplified benefit programmes.
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