The Māori Party co-leaders are proud to have worked with the Government to achieve the first increase to base benefit levels for 43 years.
“As the Finance Minister acknowledged in his Budget speech last year, we have made a strong contribution to poverty-related issues during our time as a support partner in Government,” says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.
“We’re satisfied that our continued advocacy has resulted in 100,000 whānau receiving an extra $25 a week after tax from tomorrow. This will benefit more than 190,000 children including around 89,000 tamariki Māori.”
Low-income whānau will also benefit from the increase to the Working for Families by up to $12.50 a week, and $24.50 a week for very low income working families.
Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox hopes the benefit increase and increase in Working for Families “provides some much needed relief for low-income whānau and beneficiaries with tamariki”.
“By establishing a Ministerial Committee on Poverty in 2011 with National, we’ve been able to highlight the long-standing issues that have plagued some whānau for generations,” she says.
This builds on the tangible initiatives the Māori Party has advanced in previous years to reduce poverty including insulating homes of low income whānau, free GP visits and prescriptions for under 13 year olds, the expansion of paid parental leave and a greater investment in preventing rheumatic fever that has resulted in a 45 percent reduction in deaths caused by this disease.