Cost of Living Impact on Retirees
To address the growing poverty and hardship amongst
our older seniors reliant on NZS as their income in retirement, Grey Power
recommends that a number of Government Policy areas need to be urgently
adjusted to ensure our older people are able to live their later years in
Grey Power recommends:
Recognising that a significant proportion of retirees dependent on NZS alone, and with cash reserves under $45,000, are frequently unable to live with dignity and mana in their retirement. The following solutions are recommended to provide urgently needed more targeted support: -
- Urgently review and increase the Accommodation Supplement maximum rates to better reflect the increases in median rental rates over the past 5 years and provide an annual review and adjustment.
- Urgently increase the cash asset level for the Accommodation Supplement eligibility to match the level allowed for those in social housing.
- Index the annual winter energy payment by the cost of living increase each year.
- Reduce the tax burden on those who are struggling most with the rising cost-of-living by considering options such as removing GST on food, a lower, or zero rate of tax on the first $10,000.
- Increase the household income threshold for the Rates Rebate Scheme an amount equal to that of the NZS couple’s pre-tax income. Consider setting the maximum rebate to at least 35% of the median NZ residential rates (Regional + Territorial Authority).
Read more on the Background and Evidence