Press Release; ACT Party

“After years of delay and uncertainty for constituents, movement on the Parent Category Visa is welcome but the outcome is a camel, also known as a horse designed by coalition,” according to MP for Epsom David Seymour.

“As a local electorate MP, I have had many families torn apart and skilled workers considering going home come to my office. The National Party’s cancellation of the Parent Category Visa and the Coalition Government’s years of ducking the issue has been a huge disappointment. Today’s announcement of a policy that won’t actually come into effect for another four months is cold comfort.

“The previous policy focused on whether a parent had sufficient funds to guarantee their income for the rest of their life. The new policy simply requires two good years of income and your parents can come for the rest of their life.

“The parent category should balance two objectives. It should allow skilled workers to come to New Zealand without having to leave their parents behind while protecting the taxpayer from getting taken for a ride. Unfortunately, this policy change has delivered the worst of all worlds.

“However, the new policy will fail to guarantee parents won’t become a burden on the taxpayer. It will also prevent people who could have made a contribution from coming here.

“One absurdity is that if you are a couple, likely more able to support parents in the long term than a single person, your income threshold is higher.

“A single person can bring one parent if their income is over $106,080, but a couple requires $159,120. To bring two parents the figures are $159,120 and $212,160 respectively.

“What we now have is a parent category for the rich that offers little protection for the taxpayer, it is the worst of all worlds and appears to reflect the paralysis of the Coalition Government. The fact there are 6,000 on the waiting list and a cap of only 1,000 parents per year reflects that fact that not many people are supposed to qualify.”