This month, thousands of businesses, workers and families across New Zealand are reaping the rewards of the work the Government was elected to deliver.
On April 1, we implemented a raft of policies delivering on these promises.
We all deserve to be paid appropriately for hard work. This week, the Government increased the minimum wage by $1.20 an hour – a pay boost that will support more than 200,000 of our lowest paid workers.
But we’ve done more than that; from the 1st, if you work hard to get ahead by taking on more than one job – you won’t be paying any more unnecessary secondary tax.
New Zealanders told us work is about more than wages, it’s about security and community too.
Employers can now better support people affected by domestic or family violence. Workers are now eligible for 10 days’ domestic violence leave, and are able to request flexible working arrangements to keep themselves safe without losing their jobs.
For those New Zealanders who’ve already done the hard yards, we’ve made sure rates of New Zealand Superannuation and Veterans Pensions increase to reflect wage increases under this Government. The net rate for a couple who both qualify for Super is rising by $15.82, to $632.54 a week.
We’re also providing more support to Kiwi businesses so they can innovate and create jobs.
With our new Research and Development tax incentive, more than 2000 businesses will be able to claim a 15 percent tax credit on their research and development spending. This will help them invest in the future of their business, produce higher value goods for export, and create new, high-paying jobs. All businesses that spend at least $50,000 on eligible research and development qualify for this incentive.
And with our reductions to ACC levies, business and self-employed workers will also be better off. We’ve dropped ACC levies on average from 72 cents to 67 cents per $100 liable earnings. These changes will save New Zealand businesses around $100 million over the next two years.
We’re delivering these important changes, managing the economy and the Government’s books responsibly, shown by good economic growth, low unemployment, strong wage rises, and a sustainable Government surplus.
This month’s changes are another step as we deliver on our plan to build a modern and fairer New Zealand that is more sustainable, productive and inclusive.