The Government has announced funding of $3 million for providers to help people, and whānau access community-based Building Financial Capability services.
“Demand for Financial Capability Services is growing as people face cost of living pressures. Those pressures are increasing further in areas affected by flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle,” said Minister for Social Development and Employment, Carmel Sepuloni.
“We’re reprioritising an additional $3 million to invest in MSD-funded Building Financial Capability services to support demand.
“This will increase national phone support through MoneyTalks (0800 345 123) and provide more in-person or group financial mentoring sessions, focusing on flood and cyclone affected areas as a priority. The funding boost also increases support for debt solutions and microfinance initiatives,” the Minister said.
“Building Financial Capability services are an integral and proven part of Government’s overall response to financial hardship in times when the cost of living is rising.”
She said evidence showed these services made a positive difference for clients, helping increase financial knowledge and skills, reduce or write-off problem debt, improve mental wellbeing and empower people to take control of their finances.
“Financial capability services aren’t solely for people getting income support and are available for anyone who needs them. Anyone who finds themselves in financial hardship can get easy access to advice and support that makes a difference.”
“The extra one-off boost to MSD-funded Building Financial Capability services further demonstrates the Government’s priority of focusing on helping New Zealanders deal with the cost of living and the sudden changes in income and expenses resulting from the recent severe weather events.”
The funds will provide 151 grants to a range of MSD-funded Building Financial Capability providers.
“Today’s package sits alongside an $11.5 community support package for NGOs and community groups, Civil Defence Emergency Management payments, MSD’s Hardship Assistance payments and Rural Assistance payments as well as the Enhanced Taskforce Green programme,” Ms Sepuloni said.