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Government's $5.5b Families Package on track to lift 74,000 children out of poverty - report


The Families Package is on track to lift 50,000 to 74,000 children out of poverty, according to a report released today.

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Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said on TVNZ1’s Breakfast today the package aims to help those on middle and low incomes to reduce child poverty. Source: Breakfast

The package has helped over 1 million New Zealanders since it came into effect July 1 last year, including those who have been warmer this winter thanks to the Winter Energy Payment, according to the Government. 

The $5.5 billion package aims to help those on middle and low incomes to reduce child poverty.

Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni acknowledged on TVNZ1's Breakfast today there is more to be done.

"We are acting as quickly as possible," she told host John Campbell. 

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The Ministry of Social Development says 385,000 families will be better off once the package is fully rolled out. Source: Breakfast

“In its first year, the Families Package has made a difference to people’s lives, whether they’re new parents with a young baby, a retiree who can afford to turn on the heater in winter, or a working couple with kids at school,” Ms Sepuloni said in an earlier statement.

About 36,000 families have received the Best Start Payment thanks to the package.

"The first stock-take of the Government’s Families Package shows families are getting real support to raise their children after a decade of being left behind,” said Ms Sepuloni.

Those who receive the accommodation supplement got an average increase from $71 to $98 a week.

“We want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child and for everyone who can to be earning, learning, caring or volunteering and the progress reported today shows we’re on our way,” Ms Sepuloni said.

Also appearing on Breakfast today was Opposition Leader Simon Bridges, who said the Government needs to do more.

"The cost of living has gone through the roof, rents are up 50 bucks a week, electricity prices are starting to rise, you've got petrol prices that have gone up 24 cents in the dollar this term," Mr Bridges said. 

"That is really hurting New Zealanders."