Low-income families and pensioners will receive a major boost in weekly payments under the government’s $12.1b spending package to support those impacted by COVID-19. The package includes a $2.8 billion income support package increased benefits and the doubling of the Winter Energy Payment
The winter energy payment is an established way for the government to support those who are the most vulnerable to crisis – for example seniors or low-income families.
And as we head into winter, and people spend more time at home, this should ease the burden when it comes to heating homes and cooking. The measure is also intended to free up hospital resources for supporting COVID-19 patients if needed.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said on Tuesday "The Winter Energy Payment supports our elderly, and I make no apologies for making sure that it will be easier for our elderly to heat their homes this winter. It also reaches other low income New Zealanders."
The package includes a one-off doubling of winter energy payment to $1400 for couples and $900 for singles, likely to affect 850,000 people.
Stuff reports that The Winter Energy Payment, already provided to pensioners and people receiving welfare payments, will double to $40.91 a week for a single person and $63.64 a week for couples and families.
The payments are issued between May and October, and will cost the Government $480 million for 2020.
The Winter Energy Payment is an extra payment to help with the cost of heating your home over the winter months.
People who are eligible for the Winter Energy Payment receive their payment automatically along with the rest of their regular payment from Work and Income NZ. People who are eligible include those who receive the NZ Superannuation, Veteran’s Pension, Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Emergency Benefit and more – check your eligibility.
The increased Winter Energy Payment is good news for those who need the most support to pay their power bill. As we head into winter, it’s a good idea to reduce your bill as well. Make sure you are on the best power plan for you by comparing power plans or taking the Power Bill Challenge.