In Budget 2017 National took a significant step in delivering the benefits of a strong economy to New Zealanders. In particular, we want to strengthen families by lifting their incomes.

I’d like to share with you some of the ways the Government is helping families and how the Budget’s Family Incomes Package helps them share the benefits of strong growth.

If you look at a family on a benefit with three children, since 2014 they will have found it easier to get their children into early childhood education, thanks to significant extra investment in the sector.

On April 1, last year they would have received an extra $25 a week thanks to the first increase in benefits in over 40 years.

Our growing economy is also making it easier for members of this family to move into work, with over 200,000 jobs created in the last three years.  That’s why we have the lowest proportion of people on a benefit in 20 years, and today there are more than 50,000 fewer children in benefit dependent households than five years ago.

If one of them is a care and support worker, they received a significant pay boost from 1 July. A full-time care and support worker on the minimum wage now takes home at least an extra $100 a week thanks to the increases passed by the Government.

That’s on top of normal pay increases – with the average annual wage up $12,000, twice the rate of inflation since we came into office.

The Budget’s $2 billion Family Incomes Package, which kicks in next April, will provide extra support through tax reductions, increases to Working for Families and increases to the accommodation supplement if a family has high housing needs. It will raise the incomes of 1.3 million families by an average of $26 a week.

The Families Incomes Package is the next step in allowing Kiwi families to spend more of their own money, to make the decisions that are best for them. We want to reward Kiwis for their hard work.

National believes taxpayers make better use of their own money than politicians.