Benefit rises will help 310,000 families – Carmel Sepuloni

By Te Ao - Māori News

Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni has announced that the government will adjust benefits to match average wage increases.

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

Sepuloni says that this change will benefit 310,000 Aotearoa families. She explains that under the old way of adjusting benefits, solo parents would receive an extra $5.64 per week, but that rate would double, under the new assessment system.

“Sole parents rate of benefit will increase by $10.48 per week because of the change.”

The government has also raised the income threshold that sole parents can earn before their benefits are reduced. Sepuloni continues:

“So as of 1 April, 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 were brought in to encourage sole parents to find work, instead of rejecting job offers because the pay wasn’t worth the financial losses.

Through these changes, Sepuloni says, “We’ve fixed that.”