Appendix B: Past investments designed to reduce child poverty
Directly impacts the incomes of parents of children in poverty
The Families Package, implemented from July 2018:
- increased the Family Tax Credit
- increased the Accommodation Supplement
- introduced the Winter Energy payment for those on a main benefit and people who receive Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension
- introduced the Best Start payment for all families in the first year, followed by two more years of support for middle- and low-income families.
The package will increase the incomes of around 384,000 low to middle-income families with children, on average, $75 a week once it is fully rolled out.
Total investment of $5.5 billion over four years
Budget 2019 income support included further changes to income support settings that will impact child poverty, including:
- the indexation of all main benefits to average wage growth
- increasing the amount that beneficiaries can earn before their benefit reduces
- removing the section 192 sanction of the Social Security Act 2018 (formerly section 70A of the Social Security Act 1964).
MSD modelling indicates that approximately 146,000 families with 269,000 children will benefit from this investment.
Total investment of $535.1 million over four years
Other changes designed to ease the pressures faced by families
In Budget 2018 we:
- expanded school-based health services in deciles 1-4 schools, and free and low-cost doctors' visits for children under the age of 14
- expanded Housing First, public housing and transitional housing
- began improving the affordability and availability of housing through KiwiBuild
- continued funding KickStart and KidsCan
- provided a clothing allowance for children whose caregivers receive an Orphan's Benefit or Unsupported Child's Benefit.
In Budget 2019 we:
- helped parents with education costs by providing increased funding for deciles 1-7 schools that agree not to request donations for parents, and removed National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) fees
- further expanded school-based health services in deciles1-5 schools
- continued funding for KickStart and KidsCan
- worked to tackle homelessness, including through further investment in transitional housing and Housing First
- supported increasing incomes through meeting minimum wage obligations
- supported people into sustainable employment through increasing the capacity of MSD's frontline workforce.
Other changes implemented by this Government include:
- improving pay and conditions, including regular increases in the minimum wage
- improving employment opportunities and outcomes
- improving the quality of housing and conditions for renters by implementing the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act 2017 and through changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986
- reviewing the price of electricity for households and investigating whether the prices paid are fair, efficient and equitable
- reducing problem debt, by introducing legislative measures to stop predatory lending.