Government to reverse indexing of benefits to wage growth, will move up in line with inflation

  • 14/02/2024

Social Development Minister Louise Upston has announced the Government plans to urgently reverse law changes that require benefits to increase in line with wage growth. 

The Labour-led Government made the changes in 2019 but the Coalition's move will have benefits indexed to inflation, as it was previously. 

Upston on Wednesday morning announced the minimum family tax credit threshold would also align with inflation, saying the changes would "protect the real incomes of benefit recipients and low-income working families for years to come". 

"This change will ensure low-income working families remain better off financially in full-time work and receiving the minimum family tax credit than they would be on a main benefit," she said in a statement. "The cost-of-living crisis that the previous Government left us is hard on beneficiaries and this change will mean their purchasing power is protected." 

The Opposition has opposed the Government's changes, with Labour saying the Coalition "should be ashamed of themselves" - pointing to those who supported the moves made by the previous administration. 

According to Te Pāti Māori, "our whānau deserve better". 

The reversal would be undertaken under urgency on Wednesday, the same day Parliament also repealed Labour's Three Waters legislation.