Yesterday’s budget announcement will make a significant difference for many of Nelson’s poorest families, says Nelson Budget Service.
The annual budget, released by finance minister Bill English included an extra $25 per week for low income families. In total that is about $4 million a year into 3500 Nelson homes.
Rosalie Grant of Nelson Budget Services says the announcement wasn’t expected but very welcome. “It doesn’t sound like much but for some of our clients it will be enough to make a significant difference. We think the extra $25 will be a great help, we’re pleased about it.”
Nelson MP Nick Smith says there are 1300 Nelson families on the benefit with children who will get an extra $25 per week from April 1 next year. He says Nelson has a further 2200 working families on incomes below $50,000 per year who will gain between $12.50 and $25.50 per week relative to their income through family tax credits. This package will assist a total of 3500 Nelson households and improve the standard of living for 6400 children.
“Nelson is not a wealthy community and I see too many low income families struggling to give their children the best start possible. The Budget will put $4 million a year into our poorest 3500 households and help ensure everyone benefits from the improved economy.”
He says there is clear research to show that it is low income families who have gained the least from economic recovery.
“This adjustment also reflects the message I got on the election trail in Nelson last year. People told me they were pleased New Zealand was doing better than most countries but they were also concerned that we were becoming a less egalitarian society.”