Cost of living payment should cover beneficiaries under 18 – Greens | May 20, 2022
Work began on the recently announced cost-of-living payment around the same time as gas tax and public transport fare cuts were made in March. But, the government has more to do to ensure he can be paid from August.
Around 2.1 million New Zealanders – anyone earning less than $70,000 and not receiving existing benefits – will receive $350 to help them cope with cost of living pressures. The first of the three monthly payments is fixed for the beginning of August.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson told Newshub’s AM that after previous policies targeted low-income New Zealanders, this payment was specifically targeted at middle-income people. “We felt there was a wider group of New Zealanders who needed additional support,” he said. “We think that’s an important contribution we can make.”
Parliament is expected to pass the legislation required for the payment today. This will allow Inland Revenue to make the payments. “Inland Revenue has never really had a payout like this before,” Robertson said.
Robertson defended that people will still have to wait about 10 weeks to receive their payment, despite the high cost of living in recent months. “We have supported New Zealanders throughout our tenure,” he said. “It’s a big problem, it takes time to get the systems in place. We need to pass the law.
It would also, Robertson said, be more beneficial to average New Zealanders than the tax cuts proposed by the National Party. “What Mr. Luxon explained was that a tax cut would give people like me a lot more money,” he said.
When asked why the cost of living payment was not available to anyone already receiving the winter energy payment, Robertson defended the government’s track record of supporting low-income New Zealanders. “We think we’ve supported low-income people, we have other initiatives in this budget that do that…we think we have about the right balance,” he said. RNZ.
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