Newshub can reveal the Government is set to shell out at least $20 million a year in winter energy payments to our highest-earning superannuitants.
The Families Package, announced by the Government last year, includes the Winter Energy Payment, which will be available to help with the cost of heating homes during the winter.
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Those eligible can get:
- $20.46 a week if you're single with no dependent children.
- $31.82 a week if you have a partner or dependent children.
In 2018, this will be paid from July 1 to September 30. From 2019, it will be paid from May 1 to October 1.
There are currently close to 750,000 people receiving superannuation payments.
Latest census figures show 8.7 percent of over-65s make more than $60,000 a year - that's three times an annual super payment.
But taxpayers won't be fronting up with that much this year, because the Government has delayed the start of the payment so it only covers half of winter.
ACT Party leader David Seymour is coming down hard on the revelations.
"It's symptomatic of a Government that taxes with impunity, sprays money all over the place, does not think about the objectives it tries to achieve," he said.
"The objective of this Government cannot be giving taxpayer money to the wealthiest New Zealanders, but due to their irresponsibility, that's what they're doing."
The winter energy payments are automatically applied to the superannuation, but superannuitants can opt out.