by Rossana Rogers, Kaipakihi Tautoko Kaiwhakahaere (Business Support Administrator)
The Families Package is designed to provide targeted social assistance to improve incomes for low and middle income families with children, and to reduce child poverty. It is part of the Government’s focus on ensuring children get the best start in life, and that our welfare system doesn’t leave families without support.
The Families Package replaces the previous Government’s Family Incomes Package, announced as part of Budget 2017.
The new Families Package includes:
- The Winter Heating Payment
- Best Start tax credit
- Increases to Working for Families Tax Credits
- Changes to Accommodation Supplement areas and amounts
- Increase to the Accommodation Benefit for students
- Increase to Orphan’s Benefit, Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Foster Care Allowance
Ministry of Social Development will automatically pay the Winter Energy Payment to Seniors and people on benefits, and will also pay Best Start tax credit for people receiving:
- Jobseeker Support
- Sole Parent Support
- Young Parent Payment
- Supported Living Payment or
- Emergency Benefit.
The changes to Accommodation Supplement and Accommodation Benefit will also be paid automatically from 1 April 2018.
People getting a benefit and Seniors don’t need to do anything.
Anyone who isn’t a Work and Income client may need to apply for the Best Start tax credit through Inland Revenue.
Here is the link to information on the Ministry of Social Development website:
And for commonly asked questions and answers: