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Hon Anne Tolley

Minister for Social Development

26 May 2016

Financial help boosted for low-income earners

Budget 2016 includes $4.2 million of operating funding over four years to support more low-income families access low and no-interest loans as part of the Community Finance partnership, Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says.

“This is a positive example of the Government working closely with the private sector and NGOs to support low-income earners avoid crippling debt caused by finance options with hidden fees and high interest,” Mrs Tolley says.

The funding will expand the pilot operating in Waitakere and Manukau in partnership with Bank of New Zealand, Good Shepherd NZ and the Salvation Army.

“Through the Community Finance partnership, low-income earners have access to fair finance options and don't have to resort to unaffordable and unsustainable credit for items such as car repairs and home appliances,” Mrs Tolley says.

“Last year, BNZ pledged $60 million in lending capital for the scheme, which supports families at risk of high debt to improve their work readiness, quality of life and financial capability.

“The funding will also support budgeting advice to low-income earners.”

In addition to this funding, Budget 2016 also provides $4 million in Vote Māori Development over the next four years to provide microfinancing to whānau to improve their financial independence.

Media contacts: Gillon Carruthers 021 491 761, Ashleigh Muir 021 881 935

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