We’re boosting incomes and helping ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis through a range of bread and butter support measures that will see pensioners, students, families, and those on main benefits better off from the start of next month.
Things are tough for many households right now, and the recent severe weather has created extra stress and financial pressure for people across the country. While there’s no easy fix, every little bit counts when making ends meet and our cost of living package will help around 1.4 million New Zealanders afford the things they need.
Here's who will benefit:
We’re providing further support to help ease the pressure on whānau with boosts to Working for Families from 1 April. This includes an extra $4 for Best Start Payments, which helps parents with the costs of a newborn, taking it to $69 per week. We’ve also increased the eldest child rate of the Family Tax Credit by $9, lifting this to $136 per week.
From 1 April, superannuation will rise. This will mean a couple both aged over 65 will receive $102.84 more a fortnight, and a single person living alone will receive an extra $66.86 each payment. This is just one of the ways we’re helping older New Zealanders with the cost of living. Our Winter Energy Payment will restart on 1 May, helping with heating costs through the colder months.
We’re boosting the student allowance and student loan living costs payments by around $20 extra each payment in our April 1 changes. This will help make everyday life more affordable for tertiary students, so they can focus on what’s important – their studies.
We know childcare is one of the biggest costs for working families – that’s why we’re making it more affordable for many low and middle income families. From the start of next month, income thresholds for childcare assistance will be significantly expanded, cutting costs for working parents and supporting more children into early education. You can find out more here.
From April 1, we’re increasing the minimum wage by $1.50 to $22.70 an hour. This brings the minimum wage in line with inflation, supporting those who struggle the most to make ends meet, and ensuring thousands of New Zealanders do not go backwards.
Main benefits will increase by the rate of inflation on 1 April, to help ease cost of living pressures for those on Government support. This will mean a family on a benefit with children will receive an extra $40.86 a week and a sole parent will receive an extra $31.83 a week.
On top of these changes, we’re providing extra support with the cost of living by cutting the cost of fuel, and making public transport half price until the end of June – and permanently for Community Services Card holders and tertiary students. We know transport is one of the biggest costs for families, and this is one way we can ease the pressure.
There’s more to do and we’ve indicated that bread and butter issues will continue to be a major focus for our Government.
That’s why we’ve reassessed our priorities, to ensure we’re focused on the big issues that matter most to New Zealanders, like the cost of living and supporting communities following the recent extreme weather.
While these measures won’t solve everything, we know that when taken together, they’ll make a big difference for Kiwis across the motu.
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