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Benefits set to rise three per cent, in line with average wage

Benefits are set to rise by 3.1 per cent this April, with an increase of $10 on the way for some beneficiaries.

Source: 1 NEWS

The Government announced at Budget 2019 in May it would begin indexing benefits to average wage growth instead of inflation. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today said the increase set for April this year "is the largest increase in one off adjustment in nine years".  

It will see benefits raised by 3.09 per cent instead of 1.66 per cent. 

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the increase would impact 310,000 families. 

"We take a similar approach to adjusting Superannuation, so it’s fairer, more consistent, and will help reduce poverty amongst our most vulnerable," Ms Sepuloni said. 

"Adjusting rates to increases in the average wage ensures we share the benefits of a strengthening economy, and means those on benefits don’t fall further behind.

"Sole parents rate of benefit will increase by $10.48 per week because of the change. Under the previous system, they would only receive an increase of $5.64 per week."

A jobseeker beneficiary aged 25 or over could get an additional $6.78 extra a week. 

Last year, a welfare advisory group released 42 recommendations which included an immediate lift to base benefit levels between 12 per cent and 47 per cent. At the time the Government accepted three of the recommendations which did not include immediate increases to the benefit rate.