Cost of living support payments begin today

By 1news.co.nz

The first instalment of the Government’s cost of living payment should arrive in more than 2 million Kiwis’ bank accounts today.

File picture.
File picture.

Anyone who earns below $70,000 a year, is a New Zealand tax resident aged 18 and over, and who is not receiving the winter energy payment, is entitled to the payment.

As long as IRD has your bank account details, the money will be automatically paid out – there’s nothing more you need to do.

The first instalment on Monday, August 1 will be $116.

The next two $116 instalments will come on September 1 and October 3.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged New Zealanders on Thursday to ensure their bank details are in the IRD system, following concerns more than 164,000 eligible people would miss out.

READ MORE: PM urges Kiwis to confirm bank details ahead of $350 payment

The payment was announced in May as part of the 2022 Budget, headlining a raft of measures aimed at tackling the cost of living crisis.

Political commentator Morgan Godfery called the payment “necessary and sensible”.

“This is possibly the most that they could do in this period of time so they have to be recognised for that while acknowledging that there are factors outside of their control that are driving up costs,” Godfery told 1News.

However, Opposition parties have taken aim at the scheme, with National’s finance spokesperson Nicola Willis calling it an “inadequate band-aid for a cost of living crisis”.

Willis instead called for long-term tax cuts which would benefit “squeezed middle” New Zealanders earning average wages.

The Prime Minister has defended the payment in the wake of critics saying it wasn’t enough to combat the rising cost of living.

READ MORE: $350 cost of living payment about ‘softening the edges’ – PM

“I don’t think that it would have been possible to have delivered something that would have made all of these pressures go away. I think we need to be really upfront about that. But it was about doing what we could,” she told Breakfast in May.

Ardern denied the payment was a “band-aid” and said incomes had grown more than the cost of living under Labour.

The Prime Minister also rejected claims that the payment would worsen inflation in a Q+A interview on Sunday.

“The advice that we got from Treasury was the fact that it was time-limited and targeted, it would lessen any potential impact on inflation,” she said.

“Compare that to alternative measures like tax cuts, not so, because it’s less targeted.”

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