The Government will soon allow beneficiaries to earn more money before their benefit payments are cut.
Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni says upcoming changes to the thresholds would see around 82,900 low-income people and families will be better off by an average of $18 a week.
"Currently, a person on Jobseeker Support can earn up to $90 a week before their benefit starts to reduce with sole parents and people on supported living payment being able to earn up to $115 a week," Sepuloni said
On April, 1, this will change so people on Jobseeker Support will be able to earn $160 a week before benefit payments are affected.
For sole parents, people on supported living payments, and people under 65 getting veteran's pension, payments will reduce by 30 cents in the dollar once they reach the $160 a week income abatement threshold, and 70 cents in the dollar once they reach the second threshold of $250.
For couples where one partner gets NZ Super and the other partner gets Jobseeker Support or supported living payment, payment reductions only apply to the Jobseeker Support or supported living payment. The benefit is abated at half the above rates, and NZ super is not counted as combined income.
Of the 82,900 people and families affected by the changes, 50,200 are families with children, the Ministry of Social Development and Employment reports.
Labour promised the changes during the election as part of their five-point economic plan.
Sepuloni said the changes will make it more worthwhile for people to work, and improve financial incentives to work part-time.
"It also means people facing reduced work hours, for example, because of the impacts of COVID-19, may more readily access financial assistance while staying in their job,"
"The changes will help people and families get ahead, as we get through COVID-19, and rebuild New Zealand back stronger than ever," Sepuloni said.
These changes will amount to a total investment of $393.90 million over the next five years.