Grant Robertson, the Finance Minister, has announced a new budget that will help families with the cost of living. The budget includes measures such as free public transport for children, free prescription medicines, and expanded free childcare for toddlers.
“It’s tough for families right now,” said Prime Minister Chris Hipkins. “I said I would focus on bread-and-butter issues, and today’s budget does that by providing cost of living relief across key expenses families face – childcare, healthcare, transport and power bills.”
Under the new budget, children under 13 will be able to ride public transport for free, with half-price fares for all those under 25. The vast majority of prescription medicines will become free, and children under two will now be eligible for 20 hours of state-funded childcare a week.
The government will also expand funding for insulating and heating houses, and extend a free school lunch program until the end of next year.
The budget has been welcomed by many families, who are struggling with the rising cost of living. However, some critics have said that the government should have done more to help low-income families without children.