Jacinda Ardern, baby in hand, shares 'a few thoughts from the couch'

  • 01/07/2018

As the Government's families package kicks in, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took to social media to share her feelings about the scheme.

"Couldn't help but share a few thoughts from the couch," she wrote on Facebook as she shared a live video while holding her sleeping daughter.

"I'm really excited about the difference this package is going to make to New Zealanders," she told viewers.

The multibillion-dollar scheme will give 384,000 families extra money in the back pocket through changes to Working for Families, the 'Best Start' payment to families of newborn babies, winter energy payments for beneficiaries and extended paid parental leave, at a higher pay rate.

"I'm really proud of it. I think of all the things people ask me that we've done since starting in Government, this is the proudest thing."

She explained the policy to viewers and answered questions from those tuning in.

When someone said she looked tired, she said she was waiting for someone to say that.

"I'm actually okay - I just don't have any makeup on."

Signing off, she said she was going to go and enjoy sitting with her "human hot water bottle".

The Prime Minister is now one week into her six weeks' maternity leave.

Best Start

This will cost $1.14b over four years.

Parents of every single newborn will get $65 per week for an entire year, with those earning less than $79,000 getting the payment for up to three years.

It applies to all babies born after July 1, 2018 and is estimated to cover 65,000 newborns each year.

It cannot be claimed simultaneously with paid parental leave.

Winter energy payment

All pensioners and all beneficiaries will be eligible for money to help pay to heat their homes in winter.

Those living alone with no children will get $450 for the winter or $700 if they have children. Couples also get $700.

Working for Families tax credits

This will cost $2b over four years.

An extra 26,000 families will be eligible to receive some kind of support from the Government's existing Working for Families package.

Households with kids earning an annual income of less than $42,700 are entitled to $5878 each year for their first child, and $4745 each year for each subsequent child.

This simplifies the previous rates and increases the amount each family can claim.

Paid parental leave

Is going from 18 weeks to 22, with a 4.7 boost to the payments. It'll go up to 26 weeks from 2020.