Yesterday the Government announced a ‘mini-budget’ focusing on some of their family related promises in their 100-day plan.
Some of the key features to be implemented through the tax system include:
- A ‘Winter Energy Payment’ for eligible people of up to $450 a year
- Increasing the Family Tax Credit amount and increasing the abatement threshold
- A payment to families with new babies of $60 per week ($3,120 per year) for the first year after birth for all qualifying people (New Zealand tax resident principal caregivers who do not receive income tested benefits) and up to two further years where there is a low income. In the draft Bill this will apply for children born, or with an expected due date, on or after 1 July 2018.
This is all to be funded out of the removal of the planned tax cuts. In addition to the above the Government has indicated it will resume payments into the NZ Super fund today.
To coincide with the announcement the Government introduced the Family Package (Income and Tax Benefits) Bill. This bill contains the announcements above along with:
- Re-instating the Independent Earners Tax Credit
- Repealing the changes to Working for Families tax credits announced in the Budget.
- Implementing the Accommodation supplement and Accommodation Benefit increases announced in the Budget.
Parliament is debating the families package under urgency today meaning this is likely to be legislated very shortly.