ACT proposes $250 tax relief for vaccinated Kiwis

Source: 1News

ACT wants to give every immunised New Zealander a $250 tax break, which could be redeemed at any time after the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

Last year, the David Seymour-led party gained 10 seats in Parliament — its biggest caucus since 2002.

Using cash incentives to encourage vaccination has been widely debated - with Sir John Key previously suggesting a $25 voucher for under 30s.

Overseas, New York City began a US$100 incentive for people receiving their first dose in July, and a study in Sweden found cash incentives helped with a four per cent increase among reluctant participants. 

ACT leader David Seymour said their policy was named "vax bucks" and would "reward New Zealanders for doing the right thing and following the rules".

"If you’ve had the vax and paid your tax, you deserve some relief."

He said ACT's proposal brought together the need for a high vaccination rate, the savings a high vaccination rate would have for the hospital system, and the additional $12.9 billion New Zealand collected in tax in the last year , compared to the previous year. 

"It would be a well-deserved boost for Kiwis who work hard and have done the right thing just before Christmas," Seymour said. 

"The tax credit is a week’s worth of groceries, a couple of tanks of petrol or Christmas presents for the kids."

In New Zealand, vaccination is mandated for MIQ and port workers, and most of health care and the education workforce. It has been signalled proof of vaccination will be needed for large scale events this summer, while some businesses such as KFC have offered some freebies to the vaccinated.