Budget 2017: Tax thresholds changed - how much extra will you get?

Finance Minister Steven Joyce has announced changes to personal tax thresholds that will leave all working Kiwis with more cash in their pocket.

The Government has announced a $2 billion per year Family Incomes Package that changes the tax thresholds, Working for Families, and the Accommodation Supplement which it says will help Kiwi families get ahead.

Mr Joyce said the changes would benefit around 1.3 million families in New Zealand by, on average, $26 per week.

From April 1 2018, the new tax threshholds will be adjusted as follows:

**Increasing the $14,000 income tax threshold to $22,000, and the $48,000 tax threshold to $52,000.

Current New Zealand tax rates for personal income: 

10.5% on the first $14,000 earned (rising to $22,000 from April 1, 2018)

17.5%: $14,001 ($22,001 from April 1, 2018) to $48,000 ($52,000 from April 1, 2018)

30%: $48,001 ($52,001 from April 1, 2018) to $70,000

33% from $70,001

Mr Joyce said today: "It is important that Kiwi families directly share in the benefits of New Zealand’s economic growth.

"The Family Incomes Package is carefully designed to especially assist low and middle income earners with young families and higher housing costs."

Other changes include:

*Discontinuing the Independent Earner Tax Credit.

*Increasing the Family Tax Credit rates for young children to the level of those for children aged 16 to 18, while increasing the abatement rate and decreasing the abatement threshold.

*Increasing the Accommodation Supplement maximum amounts, and updating the Accommodation Supplement areas to reflect 2016 rents.

*Increasing the weekly payments of the Accommodation Benefit for eligible Student Allowance recipients by up to $20.

Mr Joyce said that as wages had risen over the last seven years, people on lower and middle incomes had been faced with higher marginal tax rates.

"The Budget 2017 Family Incomes Package will provide better rewards for hard work by adjusting the bottom two tax thresholds and lowering the marginal tax rates for low and middle income earners," Mr Joyce said.

"At the same time it will start simplifying the tax and transfer system by removing the separate Independent Earner Tax Credit which is claimed during the year by less than one third of those eligible."

A mixture of New Zealand Bank notes and coins.
New Zealand currency (file picture). Source: istock.com


Body of missing man pulled from river near Invercargill

The body of a man who went missing on Sunday has been pulled from the Aparima River in Riverton.

Police say the body of Jamie Stephen Boniface was recovered from Aparima River by local divers and the coastguard around 10am.

Mr Boniface, 28, went missing after the dingy he was in overturned on Sunday afternoon.

A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer.
A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer. Source: 1 NEWS

Flashback: Watch 1 NEWS from the day the World Trade Centre was attacked on 9/11

Everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001 - and as the world turned on their televisions, 1 NEWS was there.

1 NEWS initiated a special uninterrupted live coverage event in the early hours of September 12, 2001 after news of the attack broke.

The 6pm programme was presented by Richard Long and Judy Bailey and included wire items from numerous American outlets.

Richard Long and Judy Bailey headed the coverage, which was live and uninterrupted throughout the day. Source: 1 NEWS


One person dead after crash in Bay of Plenty

One person is dead after a crash in the Kaimai Ranges, Bay of Plenty, this afternoon.

Police say the crash was reported to emergency services shortly after 2pm on SH29, Old Kaimai Road.

One person was killed in the crash.

Diversions will be in place for some time, and motorists are ask to delay travel if possible.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

'Wow what an experience!' Rare Hector's dolphins delight boaties in Golden Bay

A pod of three rare Hector's dolphins has thrilled people on a boat in Golden Bay, swimming around the vessel.

A Golden Bay boatie captured footage of the pod swimming in front of the boat as well as underwater and provided the video to conservation organisation Forest & Bird anonymously.

The vision shows one dolphin swimming fast in front of the boat, followed by shots of it underwater before all three dolphins come into view in front of the vessel.

'Wow what an experience!" a man on the boat is heard saying.

Forest & Bird says the footage of the rare dolphins has locals worried the resident dolphins could be killed in set and trawl nets.

While delighted by the find, Forest and Bird is worried about their future, due to a lack of protection in Golden Bay. Source: 1 NEWS

“Golden Bay Hector’s are much more important that we previously thought,” Forest & Bird marine specialist Anton van Helden said.

“These small populations with little or no protection from human impacts such as fishing nets need our attention.

"Little pods like these ones in Golden Bay could be genetic 'stepping stone' groups between larger populations, like those on the east and west of the South Island," he said.

A pod of Hector's was killed last year in a set net near Bank’s Peninsula, and 200 fluttering shearwaters were reportedly found in a single set net in Auckland earlier this year.