Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Progress for older New Zealanders

3 July 2002

Progressive Coalition - policy

Progress for older New Zealanders

Our commitment: Supporting older New Zealanders.

All New Zealanders grow older.

As our population ages we need to take account of the needs of older New Zealanders in recognition of their contribution to our community over their lives.

These are some of the key Progressive Coalition policies for older New Zealand citizens.

Free health care for older New Zealanders

We want free GP visits for superannuitants and school kids.

This year we will sharply reduce primary health care costs for low-income earners. Next year we will achieve free GP visits for all school children, followed by superannuitants - but only if the Progressive Coalition is in Government with Labour.

If we are elected we will be able to deliver free doctors visits for all school kids. This will cost $34 million but is an important commitment for our young people and for families.

In the following year we want to see free doctors visits for all superannuitants. This will cost over $50 million but will make a huge difference in the lives of New Zealanders who have already made a significant contribution to our communities.

We are also committed to improving local assessment and rehabilitation services and provision of continuing care and palliative care facilities for older people so they do not have to face daunting travel requirements to obtain treatment.

Geriatric care

a) Income asset and income testing

The Progressive Coalition is committed to removing asset and income testing for geriatric care, by progressively raising levels of assets and income exempt from testing.

This will need to be phased in as to remove all asset testing in one hit would cost at least as much as $250 million and could be as high as $400 million.

We would raise the threshold by $20,000 a year so that within four years the average family home would be exempted. Within eight years, asset testing would have been totally removed.

b) Rest home Subsidies

The Progressive Coalition is committed to maintaining, and where appropriate improving, current levels of rest home subsidy.

Where many elderly citizens have little option other than to leave their own home for full rest home care, we intend to develop a range of housing options. These include a variety of home help, that offer different degrees of support.

Winter energy rebate

A Winter energy subsidy of around $15 a month for superannuitants, beneficiaries and those on low incomes.

A rebate averaging about $15 a month will reduce winter power bills by about a quarter.

The rebate is designed to make home heating more affordable in the winter months for New Zealanders on fixed incomes.

The Progressive Coalition proposes making the rebate a priority because we don't want vulnerable New Zealanders to worry about the costs of turning up their heating to keep warm.

Assuming 800,000 households are eligible, the rebate would cost $36 million per year at an average rate of $15 per month.

Superannuation

The Progressive Coalition is committed to the Coalition Government’s Superannuation Fund.

NZ Superannuation should be universally available in recognition of people’s contributions to New Zealand during their active working lives.

The Fund is to come from the Government’s Capital Budget and will therefore not interfere with current funding arrangements for health, education and social welfare.

The fund should be sufficient so that the married couple superannuation rate is fixed between 65 and 72.5 per cent of average ordinary time weekly earnings after tax.

Our population is ageing and adjustments will be needed to provide for a growing number of superannuitants.

The super fund this Coalition Government has created maintains some pay-as-you-go element for the future, and allows us to continue to meet demands for other essential social services today.

There will always be pressure to cut superannuation unless it is locked up in a secure fund.

- It locks into law the base rate of superannuation: sixty-five per cent of average ordinary time earnings for a married retired couple.

- It pre-funds a proportion of future costs, on a fair basis;

- It continues a significant pay-as-you-go component, so that no generation has to pay twice for superannuation;

- It maintains a voluntary second-tier system. For example private superannuation and savings schemes such as universal super).

The Progressive Coalition wants to have a regular survey to ensure the living standards of older New Zealanders are maintained.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news