Newshub-Reid Research poll: Kiwis want Superannuation age to stay same as Govt increases rates

It's hoped the Government's policy inferno on Monday will free up money to throw at the cost of living crisis.

Statistics New Zealand has confirmed food prices have soared 12 percent in a year - that's the highest annual increase since 1989.

Fruit and vegetable prices rose 23.1 percent, groceries were up 12.2 percent, and meat, poultry, and fish prices rose 9.8 percent.

Because of all this inflation, the Government is boosting main benefits to match inflation.

A family on a benefit with children will receive an extra $40 a week, students will get an extra $20 a week, while pensioners' Superannuation will go up by just over $100 a fortnight for a couple.

Go inside Kilbirnie red cross op shop and you're welcomed with a smile.

"I've worked at the Red Cross for 13 years and I love it," said worker Fiona Williams. 

Both Fiona and her workmate Ashika get a benefit.

"I myself have food allergies as well and the food prices have gone up high. I need some kind of support," said Ashika Nand. 

They're both finding it's no longer quite enough.

"I think it's $12 a kg of lemons, yeah!" said Nand.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said, "in a cost of living crisis we can’t leave behind those on the lowest incomes or those who rely on Government support".

"I know every little bit helps when people are trying to make ends meet."

In 2019, the Government tied benefit rises to wage inflation, but because that hasn't kept up with the cost of living, this year they've tied it to inflation, raising benefits by 7.22 percent. 

It means a single beneficiary with no kids will get an extra $19.81, a solo parent will get an extra $31.83 and a couple who are both on benefits who have children will get an extra $40.86.

"The Government is focused on the bread-and-butter issues," said Hipkins. 

Specifically, on bread and butter, bread prices are up 10 percent in a year and butter's up nearly 6 percent. A loaf and a block - with a bag - cost Newshub over $9 on Monday.

The Prime Minister knew his numbers on Monday.

"To buy a loaf of Mollenburg toast bread, you'd be paying around $4, maybe $4.50. If you're looking for a block of butter, it will be around $7," Hipkins said. 

The self-proclaimed bread and butter Prime Minister has basically had to heave policy to pay for the super expensive scheduled super increases.

In January, our Newshub Reid Research poll asked whether the retirement age should remain at 65. The majority - 66 per cent said yes - while 25 per cent said no.

Asked if he will rule out raising Super, Hipkins said it's not something he has turned his mind to.

"If we were to change that, we would do that in the general election campaign."

So still no committment either way whether he will keep or tweak the super expensive Super scheme.

This article was amended on March 13 because it incorrectly stated that Superannuation will go up by just over $100 a week for a couple. The correct figure is just over $100 a fortnight for a couple.