Fix Working For Families 2022

Join us at Child Poverty Action Group in helping to reshape the future of how the poorest families in New Zealand are supported.

It is time to turn around the policy that discriminates against families in need.

What is Working for Families?

Working for Families tax credit package is a vital source of income support for children in low-income families. Working for Families is a scheme of tax credits that is paid to eligible families with dependent children aged 18 or younger. It is intended to help with the family's day-to-day living costs. 

“When I think back on how much $72.50 would have improved our lives ... it makes me sick to my stomach.”  - Serena

What needs fixing?

Working For Families payments are not properly indexed and children in benefit-receiving households are not eligible to receive all payments. This discrimination is deeply flawed and unfair and prevents the package from realising its full potential as a programme to address poverty. Working for Families discriminates parents who receive benefits and cannot work. These families are currently denied one crucial payment for their children. This is currently assessed at $72.50 per week (or more for larger families). Going without this payment drives these families further into poverty and debt.

“Working for Families doesn’t take into account the changing dynamics of the modern family.” - Ashleigh

What does Child Poverty Action Group want to change?

When the campaign began in 2016, we made several key policy recommendations: 

  1. Abolish all fixed hours of paid work requirements for the payment of any Working For Family tax credits.  

  2. Abolish the In-Work Tax Credit and add $72.50 to the first child Family Tax Credit. 

  3. Properly index Working For Families payments 

  4. Restore Working For Families payments to its former real value.  

“I don’t know how families on benefits and low wages are expected to manage.” - Shane

Where can I read Child Poverty Action Group’s Submission?

You can read CPAG’s submission here.

Ngā Tāngata Microfinance has also made a submission, which you can read here.

We need your help - Get involved

In May 2022 the Child Poverty Action Group spearheaded a campaign to support the review of the Working for Families. We need your help to make change happen.

  • Follow our campaign on Facebook

  • Sign up to our newsletter

  • Join CPAG to help make a better future

Background papers

CPAG has been working and writing on Working for Families for a number of years. You can read our background material here.

Who can I contact for more information?

Associate Professor Susan St John

Professor Innes Asher

Dana Wensley (CPAG Researcher)