Benefits, superannuation payments to rise

By Amelia Romanos

Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett. Photo / Natalie Slade
Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett. Photo / Natalie Slade

Superannuation, benefit, and working for families payments will be increased from next month to compensate for inflation.

The Government today announced a 1.77 percent increase to benefit rates, student allowances, student loan living costs and the foster care allowance from April 1.

The increase would also be added to the rates and thresholds for supplementary assistance and the thresholds for the Community Services Card.

The same increase would also apply to the War Disablement Pension and Veteran's Pension payment rates.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said superannuation rates would increase by 2.65 percent, meaning married superannuitants would get an extra $13.84 per week.

"The percentage increase will be slightly higher for people receiving NZ Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension, so that the married couple rate continues to equal 66 percent of the average net wage,'' she said.

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne also announced inflation changes to working for families rates.

The annual family tax credit for the first child aged under 16 years will increase from $4578 to $4822, a subsequent child aged under 13 years increases from $3182 to $3351, and a subsequent child aged between 13 and 15 years increases from $3629 to $3822.

Mr Dunne said low-income families who qualified for the minimum family tax credit would get additional assistance through the minimum family tax credit.

The credit, which ensures working families receive a minimum after-tax income above what would be received while on a welfare benefit, will increase from an after-tax income of $22,204 to $22,568.

Mr Dunne said the increase would mainly assist sole parent families who moved off the Domestic Purposes Benefit.

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