Making New Zealand the best place in the world to raise a family
- Major increases to Working for Families, including 26,000 more families eligible from today.
- 384,000 families better off by average of $75 a week when Families Package fully rolled out.
- Paid Parental Leave extended by four weeks to 22 weeks from today.
- Babies born from today attract a $60 a week Best Start payment, which can continue for three years.
- More than 700,000 senior citizens, and 275,000 families get help to warm their homes.
- 64,000 children lifted out of poverty by 2020
Thousands of families are set for the biggest boost in household incomes in a decade when major elements of the Government’s Families’ Package take effect from today, said Finance Minister Grant Roberson and Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni.
From today 384,000 families will be an average of $65 a week better off – $75 by the time the Package is fully rolled out in two years – as the Government begins to rebalance the economy in favour of everyday families.
“This is about making the most important job in the country – raising a family – just a bit easier,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“Many middle income families might be surprised to find they’re eligible for tax credits and other support. We’re encouraging families to go online and check whether they might be eligible for tax credits or help with the costs of renting.
“From today, every baby born in New Zealand will be able to spend more time bonding with their parents before they rush back to work. We’re extending paid parental leave from 18 to 22 weeks from today, and to 26 weeks from July 2020.
“All families with babies born from today will also be eligible for $60 a week in a Best Start payment, once any parental leave finishes. This will help with some of the added pressures that a new baby brings. In many cases Best Start will continue to the child is 3 years old, in line with evidence that this is the best time in a child’s life to invest in their wellbeing,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“We’re backing families because this government knows that when families are stronger, New Zealand is stronger,” Grant Robertson said.
“From today we’re resetting Working for Families so as you earn more, you get to keep more through the tax credits, while thousands more families will become eligible for the scheme.
“The previous Government tightened the squeeze on the middle by cutting eligibility for the credits to thousands of families every year. We are fixing that, with 26,000 more middle income families eligible for the tax credits from today, rising to 39,000 families in 2020/21.
“We’re also extending the idea of universal super, to a universal winter energy payment for all senior citizens and beneficiaries so cost is no barrier to turning on the heater to keep warm.
“Through our careful management of the economy, we’re running surpluses while also keeping our promise to deliver extra help to families, including the many families who have repeatedly missed out under the policies of the previous government
“We can afford this package because we have different priorities to the previous government. Tax cuts for people like me are not a priority for this government. Ensuring families with children are doing well is,” Grant Robertson said.