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Working for Families ad campaign launched

8 February 2005

Working for Families ad campaign launched

An advertising campaign launched this week is urging New Zealand families to find out what they can gain from the Working for Families package, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

TV, radio and newspaper advertisements will raise awareness of 1 April increases to Family Assistance and the Accommodation Supplement, and 3 October increases to Childcare Assistance.

"From 1 April this year, 260,000 families – about 55% of all families – will be entitled to more money from Working for Families," Steve Maharey said.

"The changes will put more money in the pockets of low to middle income families through increased support for living costs, housing and childcare.

"It is important that all New Zealand families are aware of these new entitlements to ensure they have the chance to benefit from the additional support."

The advertisements will encourage families to check their entitlement by visiting the Working for Families website or calling the free phone numbers.

Key changes from 1 April are: Family support will increase by $25 a week for the first child and $15 a week for each additional child. Maximum rates for the Accommodation Supplement will increase in a number of areas to reflect the growing cost of housing - particularly in Central and North Auckland. Foster Care Allowance, Unsupported Childs Benefit and Orphans Benefit will all increase by $15 per child.

From October there will be a 10% increase in child subsidy rates on top of last year's initial 10% rise. This means working families will be eligible for up to $156 per week, per child in childcare assistance. In addition to these changes, childcare assistance is now available to families on higher incomes.

"Nearly 80,000 people are already benefiting from Working for Families. The changes at 1 April are a major boost to support already available and will ensure work pays for all New Zealand families," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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