This year’s Budget has delivered benefit rises, money for Māori housing and an increase in Pharmac’s budget.
Here are the key Budget announcements.
Main benefit rates will be increased by between $32 and $55 per week by April 2022.
Benefits rise in two stages: $20 a week on 1 July this year and the rest on 1 April 2022.
Student allowance and student loan for living costs go up by $25 a week on 1 April 2022.
Sole parent support rises $36 to $434 a week. Supported living payment for a sole parent rises $36 to $485, for a couple with children it goes up $42 to $320, and a couple without children will be entitled to $305 a week. The payment for a single person 18 and over will rise to $359 a week.
Jobseeker support goes up $55 for a couple with children (to $283) and couples without children ($268). For a single person 25 and over the increase is $48 to $315.
Housing for Māori
$380m to be spent over four years on about 1000 new homes for Māori, including papakāinga housing, and repairs to 700 Māori-owned homes and expanding support services.
$350m is ringfenced from the $3.8b Housing Acceleration fund for housing for Māori.
A $200m increase over four years for Pharmac to pay for medicines and other health treatments.
$2.7 billion extra over four years for district health boards.
$486m for scrapping all 20 District Health Boards and replacing them with a new Health NZ body – including $98.1m to establish the Māori Health Authority.
$126.8m towards Hauora Māori programmes run by the Māori Health Authority.
$1.7 billion over four years on school and early childhood education and $470m on tertiary education.
$300 million to the Green Investment Finance Ltd for investment in low-emissions technologies.
Employment and training
The Training Incentive Allowance extended to more courses from July.
Government begins work on a Social Unemployment Insurance that could provide those who lose their jobs with about 80 percent of their income.