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Kiwis earn more before benefits cut – Govt

Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The Government has announced that more than 80,000 low-income New Zealanders will soon be better off by $18 a week on average.

Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni says from April 1, 2021 people receiving benefit payments will be able to earn more through work before their benefit payments are affected.

She says 29,500 individuals and families currently receiving a working-age benefit would be on average $29 a week better off.

"Currently, a person on Jobseeker Support can earn up to $90 a week before their benefit starts to reduce with sole parents and people on Supported Living Payment being able to earn up to $115 a week. The changes mean people can earn up to $160 a week before their benefit starts to be affected.”

Of the 82,900 people and families affected, approximately 50,200 are families with children.

She says increasing the income abatement thresholds will make it more worthwhile for people to work, and improve the financial incentives to work part-time.

“It also means people facing reduced work hours, for example because of the impacts of COVID-19, may more readily access financial assistance while staying in their job."

She says part-time work is an important step for people moving from a benefit back into full-time work.

“It helps build and maintain skills, experience and self-confidence, and keeps them connected with the workplace."

Increasing the abatement thresholds from April 1 is a total investment of $393.98 million over five years.

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6 Comments
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Benefits and pensions.

Posted on 20-02-2021 16:24 | By morepork

Benefits are intended for people who NEED help. Pensions are for people no longer effectively working, who paid into the system for decades. We are an "affluent nation" generating billions of dollars every year. We can AFFORD to look after ALL our people and we should. But it also needs to be fair, and currently, it isn’t. We de-motivate the higher tax payers with unwarranted top scales in tax, and we encourage the bludgers and non-contributors with "easy benefits" (I’m not talking about people in real need who NEED a helping hand... it is the needy, not the greedy that we should be helping.) Tom Ranger’s description of "baby factories" aimed at perpetuating benefits, needs to be stopped. I believe there should be a fixed tax rate for EVERYBODY, say, 15%, with maybe 20% on Corporate profits. Criteria to receive benefit should be reviewed.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 17-02-2021 11:45 | By

Time for a UBI. Make it fair. It would help ensure ALL people get what they absolutely need working or not. Incentivize beneficiaries to work if they want more than absolute basics of life. Then we make our own decisions. Live spartan or earn more to better your own situation. If I were in their situation at the moment. I wouldn’t work either. It’s too irritating for little to no return. But I made my choice. Push myself and become a stubborn earner until I get a bit older. Glad I did. Beats the alternative.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 17-02-2021 09:44 | By

Time for fairness. Time to introduce a UBI where everyone regardless of working status is paid a small basic income to cover absolute necessities. If you want more than wheatbix and noodles to eat. You work. Welfare as it is has created a situation where people choose to stay home and pump out babies! Then trade them like trading cards amongst family to where they think money needs to go within the family. This is where our homeless problem starts! The kids leave and choose homelessness because they can see what’s happening at home and as soon as they become to old to get a decent benefit for the so called parents. They get pushed out! Young daughters are forced by mothers to become the new baby producers to keep the cycle of abuse going.

It is the same BS that has been spouted for decades!

Posted on 16-02-2021 18:01 | By Bruja

What Sepaloni (and those before her for decades) neglect to say is that the second beneficiaries ’earn’ a $ they have that amount deducted from things such as Accommodation Allowance. Under the current ’system’ there is simply no point in anyone on a benefit working for even one hour a week. They lose it ALL immediately and that’s before things like petrol to get to work etc etc

One thing must prevail

Posted on 16-02-2021 16:33 | By

The maximum benefit payable must be less than the minimum wage or there is no incentive to get off the benefit. Generations are now beneficiaries and it is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

There’s only one thing

Posted on 16-02-2021 16:30 | By

Cindy and her cohorts are good for one thing and one thing only, and to be fair they’re getting very very good at it. Giving money away. Someone, one day will have to pay.