Over a quarter of New Zealanders to get cost of living relief from tomorrow

Prime Minister Social Development and Employment
  • 880,000 pensioners to get a boost to Super, including 5000 veterans
  • 52,000 students to see a bump in allowance or loan living costs
  • Approximately 223,000 workers to receive a wage rise as a result of the minimum wage increasing to $22.70
  • 8,000 community nurses to receive pay increase of up to 15%
  • 345,000 families including 646,000 children better off through Working for Families Tax Credits
  • 10,000 more children eligible for subsidised childcare

From tomorrow over 1.4 million New Zealanders are expected to receive a little extra to help with the cost of living as a result of changes made by the Government. 

“Across the world inflation is causing costs to rise and New Zealand has not been immune. That’s why the Government is focused on helping kiwi families with extra cost of living support,” Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“In tough times, it’s critical we support those who are struggling the most to make ends meet.

“Right now, people need our support more than ever and an inflation-adjusted lift in the minimum wage, superannuation, benefits, veteran’s pensions and student supports will help more than a million New Zealanders.

“There is more to come, with the Best Start payment increasing, the Winter Energy Payment going to all beneficiaries and superannuitants from 1 May, and Child Support will be passed on to Sole Parent Beneficiaries from 1 July. 

“From tomorrow, the nurses pay agreement worth $200 million annually will mean that nurses in aged residential care, hospices, home and community support services, along with those in Māori and Pacific healthcare, will have up to 15% more in their take home pay.

“Changes to childcare also come in tomorrow. It means more than half of New Zealand families with kids are now eligible for subsidised childcare assistance and makes another 10,000 children eligible for the Childcare Subsidy who weren’t before. It means more parents will be able to afford childcare and before and after school care.

“We will continue to make the cost of living and bread and butter issues our priority as we navigate tough economic times. Today demonstrates our commitment to that,” Chris Hipkins said.

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said this Government’s record over the past five years shows we have prioritised income adequacy and lifting the standard of living for New Zealanders.

“Today represents another step on that journey. Including the changes coming in tomorrow, the amount paid to a couple receiving Superannuation or the Veteran’s Pension has increased by $326.68 total per fortnight since 2017, and the rate for a single person, living alone on Superannuation has increased by $212.34 per fortnight since 2017.

“A couple with children who are receiving a main benefit will be better off by $256 per week on average than they were in 2017.  And a sole parent is better off by $180 per week.

“In addition during the winter months all those receiving Superannuation or other assistance get $20-$30 a week more with the Winter Energy Payment, making sure they can afford to have the heater on and stay warm and well.  

“And the median wage has increased by nearly a quarter since we came into Government, by 23.85%.

These are big shifts and demonstrate our Government’s commitment to supporting New Zealanders. We know that there is more to do, but our record over the last five years shows we are committed to doing what’s right for all,” Carmel Sepuloni.