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Budget 2015: Beneficiaries will be sent back to work sooner

Solo mums will be pocketing a little extra cash thanks to today's Budget, but the heavier wallet comes with some strings attached.

For the first time since 1972, benefits have been increased for low income families.

From April next year, the country's poorest families will get an extra $25 a week after tax. It'll raise their base benefit from $301 to $326 a week.

But in exchange for the extra $25 a week, those parents will have to start working as soon as their youngest child turns three, not five as it is now.

Beneficiary parents will also be asked to work at least 20 hours per week instead of the 15 hours presently required.

In addition, childcare subsidies will increase from $4 to $5 an hour for up to 50 hours of childcare a week.

For low income parents like Stacie Willingham, today's Budget will make a huge difference.

"Just having that extra bit of money in the pocket will help you know with daily costs and it's been a bit of a struggle lately," she says.

But not everyone is pleased with Finance Minister Bill English's seventh Budget. Green's co-leader Metiria Turei says forcing parents of three-year-olds to work is too much to ask.

However, Prime Minister John Key told Parliament that asking parents to work after three years is not too much to ask.

"Tens of thousands of Kiwi families do that every day and they [beneficiaries] do that half the time after 14 weeks," Mr Key said.

In exchange for an extra $25 a week, beneficiary parents of children over three will have to look for part-time work. Source: 1 NEWS


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