Largest rise to benefits in nine years to occur

Carmel Sepuloni Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Beneficiaries are set to receive an increase in benefits more in line with the rise of the minimum wage. 

Main benefits will increase by over three per cent, instead of 1.66 per cent, on 1 April with the government’s decision to annually adjust benefit rates to increases in the average wage.

Around 310,000 families will be better off following this change says Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

The move to index main benefits to increases in the average wage is fairer for those needing help, she says.

“This is the largest increase outside of one-off adjustments in nine years.

“We take a similar approach to adjusting superannuation, so it’s fairer, more consistent, and will help reduce poverty amongst our most vulnerable.

“Adjusting rates to increases in the average wage ensures we share the benefits of a strengthening economy, and means those on benefits don’t fall further behind.

“Sole parents rate of benefit will increase by $10.48 per week because of the change. Under the previous system, they would only receive an increase of $5.64 per week.

“This is also the first of four years that income abatement thresholds will be increased in line with movement in the minimum wage, removing a disincentive to work.

“Simply put, if we are expecting people to become independent and find sustainable employment, discouraging them from taking additional work on offer simply doesn’t make sense. We’ve fixed that.

“So as of April 1, these changes mean a sole parent will be able to earn $115 of other income per week before their benefit begins to reduce, instead of $100.

“These changes are an important step forward in helping New Zealanders out of the poverty trap. At budget time I said that it is time for change, this government is delivering.”

Main benefits include, the emergency benefit, grandparented rates of domestic purpose benefit for solo parents and the widow’s benefit, jobseeker support (including student hardship rates), sole parent support, supported living payment and the youth payment or young parent payment.

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Posted on 12-03-2020 20:25 | By

As a pensioner I am sick to death of the old whingers who resent anybody getting help from our in a civilised country means we pay taxes to protect our citizens when they need help and single parents need all the help we can give it’s a hard enough job with 2 parents but managing on your own is tough. We had it easy compared to today’s young parents I think we can forget that we expected to own our own home some young adults can only dream. Life can be tough have a bit of charity. Well done this government they are using taxes for the right purposes giving to the welfare of all citizens not just coddling the well off Nanaj

hang on a minute

Posted on 12-03-2020 12:49 | By old trucker

What about PENSIONERS,that have worked for 50yrs and paid TAXES,GIVE IT to all the BLUDGERS etc,kids having kids etc,now kiwi fruit is coming on stream there should be nobody on the dole here,a sign the other day,says 3,000 staff needed in kiwifruit, all the people walking around surely could get a job, but NO, benefit is better for all the LAZY people,it makes me sick to read this about increasing benefit for hardship, what about us,(pensioners) we are left behind,anyway Thankyou Sunlive my sixpence worth today,10-4 out,thankyou,phew.

It is a

Posted on 25-02-2020 08:22 | By Merlin

It is a lolly scramble by all parties in election year.Who has the biggest bag time will tell.

Strangely enough........

Posted on 25-02-2020 07:11 | By’s election year!! The country would be a far better place if terms were 6 to 12 months given that now matter which party is leading the country, a lot happens in the run up to a general election :-) Funny that!!