New Zealand support package to lift income for 346,000 families

The support measures for low-income households include increasing a family tax credit by almost NZ$15 per week for the eldest child. PHOTO: REUTERS

WELLINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a range of measures that she said will boost incomes for 346,000 families by an average of NZ$20 (S$19.22) per week and lift an additional 6,000 children out of poverty.

The support measures for low-income households include increasing a family tax credit by almost NZ$15 per week for the eldest child, and NZ$13 per week for subsequent children, Ms Ardern said in a statement Saturday (Nov 6).

"Covid-19 has been tough on families and has contributed to the increase in the cost of living," she said. "Increasing support for low and middle income families to help cover the basics is the fair thing to do."

The statement said the Family Tax Credit was scheduled to have an inflation increase in April next year, but that the authorities had "topped that up so struggling families get the extra help they need".

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni added that New Zealand's government was committed to transforming the country's welfare system.

"Each change we make brings us closer to our goal of a system that ensures people have an adequate income and standard of living, are treated with and can live with dignity, and are able to participate meaningfully in their communities," Ms Sepuloni said.

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