Coalition Government delivers greater support for business, workers, families

April 1 sees the Coalition Government delivering on its plan to provide greater support for business, workers and families in order to grow the economy and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

The following components of the Coalition’s plan will be introduced tomorrow:

  • Supporting business to grow by introducing a $1 billion R&D tax incentive that will provide a 15 percent tax credit to any business spending a minimum of $50,000 on R&D.
  • Saving businesses and customers $100 million over the next two years by dropping ACC levies on average from 72 cents to 67 cents per $100 of liable earnings.
  • Helping Kiwis to plan for their retirement by adding new KiwiSaver contribution rates of 6% and 10%, and allowing more workers access to KiwiSaver by allowing those aged over 65 to sign up.
  • A pay boost of $1.20 an hour to lift the minimum wage to $17.70, the largest increase in history.
  • Rates of New Zealand Superannuation and Veterans Pension will increase by 2.6 percent, reflecting the bigger increases in wages under this Government.
  • Justice Under-Secretary Jan Logie’s Bill providing greater support for domestic violence victims comes into force, with the new right to 10 days' domestic violence leave and flexible working conditions taking effect.

“The Coalition Government has a plan to grow the economy and share the benefits fairly. This package of changes shows the Government is delivering on that plan and will see thousands of business and hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders better off,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

“We are delivering these important changes while continuing to manage the Government’s books responsibly, shown last week by the strong surplus in the Crown accounts.

“The Coalition Government is responding to the international economic headwinds by providing additional support to business so they can innovate and create jobs with the introduction of the R&D tax credit and easing the cost of doing business by reducing ACC levies.

“More than 2000 businesses will be able to benefit from the new R&D tax incentive which will provide a 15 percent tax credit to business spending a minimum of $50,000 on R&D, assisting them to produce higher value goods for export.

“We are also improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders by supporting the lowest paid to be able to afford the basics. Kiwi workers deserve to be paid appropriately for the hard work and effort they put into their job.

“The latest Household Economic Survey showed that a third of people said their current household income was either not enough or only just enough to meet their everyday needs, so the extra $48 a week before tax for a minimum wage worker working full time will be a help with the basics like food, power and rent.

“The Government is committed to looking after our elderly. Superannuation payments will increase by 2.6 percent, seeing the net rate for a couple who both qualify for super rising by $15.82, to $632.54 a week.

“This increase exceeds the 2.1 percent increase in prices experienced by superannuitant households between December 2017 and December 2018.

“The Government is committed to maintaining the net weekly amount paid to a superannuitant couple at no less than 66 percent of the net average weekly wage. Because we have lifted the minimum wage and supported strong wage increases in other sectors there is a positive flow on benefit to superannuitants.

“April 1 continues the delivery of the Coalition Government’s plan to build a modern and fairer New Zealand that is more sustainable, productive and inclusive. From tomorrow many New Zealanders and businesses will start to reap the benefits of that commitment,” Grant Robertson said.