Children in Hardship Bill passes first reading

  • Anne Tolley
Social Development

A Bill that supports the government’s $790 million Budget 2015 package to assist children in beneficiary and lower-income working households has passed its first reading in Parliament, says Social Development Minister Anne Tolley.

The Support for Children in Hardship Bill amends Social Security, Inland Revenue and Educations Acts, to help deliver the key components of the Budget package, which includes:

  • Increased work obligations for sole parents on a benefit.
  • A $25 a week after tax increase in benefit rates for families with children, the first increase outside of inflation adjustments since 1972.
  • More childcare support to help low-income parents into work.
  • An increase in Working for Families payments to low-income families not on a benefit. 

“The plan outlined in Budget 2015 represents the next step in this Government’s strong and continuing programme to tackle material hardship for children in low-income families,” says Mrs Tolley.

“It will ensure that there are more resources for families who are struggling, while continuing the Government’s emphasis on paid work as the best route out of poverty.”

The Bill will go through a full select committee process to allow the public to have their say. Changes will come into effect from 1 April 2016.