What are we doing to directly reduce child poverty in Budget 2022?
We are making investments through Budget 2022 to help reduce the number of Kiwi kids living in poverty. For an initiative to have a significant effect on measured child poverty rates, it needs to improve the resources available to families and whānau living in poverty - by increasing incomes, reducing housing costs, or reducing other demands on household budgets.
In Budget 2022 we are supporting low-income families and whānau and tackling child poverty and inequality through a suite of changes.
- making changes to how child support payments work, so that all child support payments will be ‘passed on' to sole-parent beneficiaries as income instead of being retained by the Government, giving sole parents more money to help their whānau.
- lifting incomes through changes to the Working for Families scheme and associated supports. This means 346,000 families and whānau will be better off by an average of $20 per week. This was announced late last year and implemented on 1 April 2022.
- providing further support through the second main benefit increase announced in 2021, to bring these rates in line with a key recommendation of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. This was announced in Budget 2021 and implemented on 1 April 2022.
- introducing a $350 cost of living payment over three monthly instalments in 2022 to help ease the increasing cost pressures low and middle-income families and whānau are facing. Treasury modelling suggests that almost half a million households with children will receive this payment.
Together, the changes to Child Support, Working for Families, and main benefits will:
Lift 10,000 to 18,000 more children out of poverty on the after-housing-costs measure in 2023/24. This includes:
- 6,000 (± 3,000) Māori children
- 2,000 (± 1,000) Pacific children
- 2,000 (± 1,000) disabled children
Lift 16,000 to 30,000 more children out of poverty on the before-housing-costs measure in 2023/24. This includes:
- 10,000 (± 4,000) Māori children
- 3,000 (± 3,000) Pacific children
- 3,000 (± 2,000) disabled children