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February 07 newsletter

Government Benefits

Government benefits were once the safety net for New Zealand’s most vulnerable. However, due to Labour’s attempt to secure the political middle ground and New Zealand’s recent economic strength (miracle some might say), tax money has been rolling in. One way in which the Government has decided to spend that cash is by increasing the range of those eligible for a benefit.

This newsletter touches on a few of those benefits and aims to ensure that our subscribers are aware of some of the benefits they may be eligible for. The following benefits fall under the Family Assistance range and apply to those families with dependant children under 18.

Family support credit

This payment depends on how much you earn, the number of children you have and their ages. For example, if you have two children and your pre-tax family income is less than $65,000, you will be entitled to $7 each fortnight. The payment increases as your family income falls, or the number of dependant children increases.

In-work payment

The in-work payment is a tax credit for those parents who are working a minimum of 30 hours (between two parents), or 20 hours for a sole parent. Our model family, on $65,000 with two children, would receive $120 per fortnight. This payment also increases if you have more children.

Parental tax credit

This payment is made for 8 weeks after the birth of your child. Our model family, already with two children, would be entitled to this payment on the birth of their third child, if their family pre-tax income is below $133,000. The entitlement, over 8 weeks, is a maximum of $1,200.

Paid parental leave

Paid parental leave is an entitlement for working parents who take parental leave from their job to look after their latest angel. Note that if you are entitled to both the parental tax credit above and paid parental leave, you cannot receive both – depending on your income, paid parental leave is generally the best option. Under the paid parental leave scheme, you can receive up to $370 pre tax, per week, for a maximum of 14 weeks.

For current entitlements and eligibility criteria, please visit the Inland Revenue’s website.

Related page of the month

Savings – for those without kids who actually have some cash left over at the end of the week.