Many of you have spoken out about the pressure facing New Zealand families today.
We’ve heard you – and we’re taking real action.
Our Families Package includes smart, targeted support for Kiwis who are working and raising a family. It was fully rolled out on 1 July, 2018.
By managing our money well and making smart decisions in our last Budget, we are making good progress on real results for Kiwis across the country.
Our Families Package means families all around the country have seen their weekly incomes rise – including many families who have missed out under the policies of previous governments.
With it, 384,000 families will be an average of $75 per week better off.
That’s an average $75 extra in the pocket each week.
So, what’s in the Families Package?
Our extension to Working for Families is making it easier to raise a family in New Zealand. We boosted Working for Families for all those currently receiving it, and widened our reach – offering support to over 30,000 more families.
We also gave extra support to all new parents in their baby’s first year with the Best Start Payment – alongside extended paid parental leave – because in those first months, everyone can use a little extra help.
As of 1 July 2019, we gave another boost to families by lifting the maximum weekly payment of paid parental leave by an extra $20.
We’re helping with the cost of staying warm in the winter. Older New Zealanders and low-income families now get the Winter Energy Payment - an automatic payment of at least $20.46 each week to help with heating costs. In 2019, the Winter Energy Payment starts May 1st to October 1st. With this extra boost, recipients get $450 a year for a single person and $700 a year for a couple or a person with dependent children, and more New Zealanders are able to stay warm, dry, and healthy for many winters to come.
Our Families Package comes alongside a number of other things we’re doing to make sure families have a little extra left over at the end of the week:
We’ve made going to your GP cheaper and easier for many New Zealanders, cutting GP visits for 600,000 people by up to $30.
In the Wellbeing Budget, we provided funding to replace school donations for decile 1-7 schools, putting the free back into free education.
We have also increased the minimum wage, and we're committed to increasing the minimum wage to $20 by 2021, which will put extra money into the pockets of families.
We’ve made it easier to get into training and tertiary education, with the first year of tertiary education fees-free, and training and apprenticeship programmes like Mana in Mahi.
We’re proud of what we’re doing to deliver real results for Kiwi families.
By building a stable economy that benefits everyone, we are able to roll out proper support for people who've missed out previously, and for those who need it.
We put Kiwis first. That’s what Aotearoa is all about.
Check out what you're eligible for with the Working for Families calculator and the Accommodation Supplement and Childcare Assistance calculator. You can also use the new MSD tool to see what you may be eligible for.