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How we’re supporting New Zealanders with the cost of living

From day one, we’ve worked hard to lift incomes and make life more affordable for New Zealand families.

Now, with global inflation affecting prices here at home, we’ve stepped up our support with a new cost of living package.

From help with higher bills to reduced transport costs and action on supermarkets – we’re making sure New Zealanders are supported through this tough time.

Here are just some of the ways we’re helping with the cost of living:

COST OF LIVING PAYMENT

As part of our cost of living package, we introduced a new short-term Cost of Living Payment to help with rising prices. More than two million people are eligible for the payment, which is worth $350 split into three monthly instalments.

Here’s what people are saying about the payment:

🥪
It will mean that we won’t be going without food. We’ll be able to stay on top of our bills a bit better.

- Ruth


❤️
It’s taken a little bit of pressure off so I can breathe.

- Rachel


ACTION ON SUPERMARKETS

We’re taking action on supermarkets to make sure that New Zealanders pay a fair price at the checkout. This includes calling on the supermarkets to open up wholesale access for their competitors, at a fair price – or we will do it for them through law. Not only will this give shoppers more choice, it will also ensure more competitive prices. You can find out more here.

REDUCED TRANSPORT COSTS

To tackle rising transport costs, which have been driven up by global inflation and the war in Ukraine, we’ve extended our fuel tax cut, our reduction on road user charges as well as half price public transport until January 2023. We’ve also permanently halving the price on public transport for Kiwis on low incomes.

Slashing transport costs also helps to reduce the fuel burden on businesses – keeping the cost of food and essential goods lower across the board.

Here’s what it has meant for this Kiwi student:

🚌
Half price transport really has made a strong impact on my life. I’m now able to go to university more often without worrying about how much it is going to cost for me.

- Steve


LIFTING INCOMES

We’ve taken a range of actions to lift the incomes of New Zealanders. Our recent 1 April changes provided a boost for more than 1.4 million people through increases to Working for Families, Superannuation, student allowance and main benefits. We’ve also consistently increased the minimum wage – with this year’s increase worth almost $2,500 a year to a full time worker.

This builds on the work we’ve already done, including making changes so that 109,000 families with children are better off by around $175 per week, and introducing our Families Package –the biggest boost to household income in a decade for thousands of Kiwi families.

WINTER ENERGY PAYMENT

Our Winter Energy Payment is helping around a million New Zealanders, including seniors and people on benefits, with the cost of heating bills through the coldest months. This payment provides up to $80 extra a month through winter, helping households stay warmer and healthier with less financial stress.

Here’s what the people are saying about the Winter Energy Payment:

🏠
It means I can keep the house warm. It’s amazing.

- Jono


🌡️
Those have been the months that I’ve suffered with cold previously. It’s a no brainer. I’m very, very grateful.

- Julie


HEALTHY LUNCHES IN SCHOOLS

We’ve taken a range of actions to lift the incomes of New Zealanders. More than a million free lunches a week are being delivered to schools around the country, as part of our lunches in schools programme.

This means more kids are learning with full stomachs, and we’re also saving families with two children at a school who is part of the programme, roughly over $2,000 a year. You can find out on how we’re supporting children and families here.


We’re focused on securing our economy for New Zealand families.

This tough global period will pass, and our strong management of the economy is helping New Zealand recover faster from the pandemic than we did from the Global Financial Crisis – with near record low unemployment, wages outstripping inflation, low debt and record exports.

You can find out more about how we’re easing the pressure on New Zealand here, and you can read more about our work to tackle supermarkets here.


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