I love the Greens on civil liberties, or at least relative to most other parties and with a big caveat on their nannying proclivities with respect to tobacco and fatty foods. And they're good on copyright.
But their economic policy prescriptions...egads.
Here's their proposal for ending child poverty.
First, take a program that's meant to provide a wage subsidy to poor workers with children - Working for Families - and extend it to folks who aren't in work. Working for Families is defensible in theory, even if its current application has winds up having rather too high effective marginal tax rates, especially on second earners. But why wreck it by extending it to beneficiaries rather than simply increasing payments under existing social welfare programmes for those not in work? I can see the political reason for it: entrenching it as part of the now untouchable middle-class welfare. Extending WFF to those out of work would make it infeasible to run what I'd view as a much better policy move: strengthening the wage subsidy and eliminating the minimum wage.
Second, better study support for sole parents and beneficiaries. I'm not particularly opposed, but I'd thought that current student loan programmes that provided for living costs already filled much of the hole here.
Third, raising the minimum wage to $15/hr from $13. They say this is worth $60 per week for those working full time on the minimum wage; they're effectively assuming no or negligible disemployment effects of the minimum wage. Labour demand curves are presumably vertical from $13 to $15 per hour. Why not more than $15 per hour? Maybe the curve slopes beyond that point. If you want to help the working poor who have children, do it by making Working for Families more generous. The burden is then borne progressively through the overall tax system rather than falling on disemployed low wage workers and on those consuming the products and services of minimum wage workers; the benefits are also better targeted as they'd hit those workers with children.
Finally, minimum performance standards for rental properties. So landlords would be forced to insulate and heat their homes to standards North Americans would find liveable. It would be surprising if landlords didn't pass along at least some of the cost increase to their tenants: unless the supply of rental housing is perfectly inelastic, some of the cost increase will be passed along. And if demand for rental housing is less elastic than supply, the renters bear the bigger part of the burden. In the alternative, benefit levels could be increased such that tenants could choose to spend the extra money on a slightly better house or on warmer clothes for the kids. Unless we think poor people make worse choices than we could make for them, and the Greens I'd thought eschewed that kind of paternalism, forcing the poor to receive benefits in housing quality rather than in cash isn't likely to be efficient.
Rauparaha at TVHE says pretty much the same thing.
Choice among points on an equity-efficiency frontier; we can argue about that over beer. Policies that keep us inside the frontier just seem silly.