April 1 marks the beginning of a cost of living package that will see most families and many other households receive extra support to assist with rising cost, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.
She said the usual annual adjustments had been boosted this year by additional increases to Working for Families, main benefit rates, the minimum wage and childcare support income thresholds.
Half priced public transport also begins from tomorrow for three months, while more than one million New Zealanders will see further increases when the Winter Energy Payment kicks in on May 1.
“The whole world is dealing with inflation as a result of COVID costs, supply chain issues and the war in Ukraine. Kiwi households are feeling the effects too which is why we’ve taken swift action that will make a difference for families right now,” Ms Ardern said.
“There’s no silver bullet that will fix the current situation, which is why this Government is being responsive by implementing a range of changes to reduce costs on families who need it most. This includes the recent 25 cents a litre reduction in fuel excise, the introduction of half price public transport for three months, and increases to the Family Tax Credit.
“Just as the Government supported New Zealand families through COVID-19 we will support them again through the economic response. So in addition to increasing financial support for families we are also committed to getting to the source of the problem, including the lack of competition in our supermarkets.
“We are committed to responding to the financial challenges New Zealanders face and provide support to those who need it the most to get through these difficult times,” the Prime Minister said.