At the heart of this year’s Budget is our cost of living package, designed to ease the pressure on New Zealanders in the face of global inflation.
Here’s what it includes:
We’ve introduced a new short term cost of living payment to help with higher grocery and power bills. Paid in three monthly instalments, this payment will provide an extra $27 a week for people earning less than $70,000 who don’t already receive the Winter Energy Payment. This will benefit more than two million earners aged 18 and over.
Earlier this year, with the war in Ukraine driving up global oil prices, we took urgent action to support Kiwis. In Budget 2022, we’ve further extended the fuel tax cut, reduced road user charges and half price public transport through to August 2022, to cut the cost of getting from A to B.
As well as extending our fuel tax cut, we’ve also permanently halving the price of public transport for Kiwis on low incomes. This will make getting around cheaper for people with Community Services Cards, and will support our transition to lower emissions transport.
As part of our cost of living package, we’re taking action to increase competition in supermarkets to ensure New Zealanders are paying a fair price for their groceries. You can learn more about this work, here.
We’ve made lifting wages and reducing cost pressures a priority since day one.
The steps we’ve taken to support Kiwis in Budget 2022 build on all the work we’ve done over the past four years to lift incomes and reduce financial pressures on families, including:
- Our 1 April changes, which provided an income boost for more than 1.4 million Kiwis through increases to Working for Families, Superannuation, student allowance and main benefits
- The Winter Energy Payment, which provides up to $80 extra a month to help with power bills through the colder months, and helps more than one million New Zealanders stay warmer and healthier
- Free school lunches for more than 211,000 children
- Cheaper GP visits more for than half a million people, including free doctors’ visits for all children under 14
- Our minimum wage increases since 2017, which mean fulltime minimum wage workers now earn an extra $218 a week
Supporting New Zealanders with the cost of living is just part of Budget 2022. You can learn more about this year’s Budget and our plan to grow a strong economy that gives security in good times and bad here.