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Budget 2004: Fairness and Opportunity -Overview

The Budget 2004 Overview
Fairness and Opportunity

Working for Families:

Refer to separate package.
Total cost: $1.1 billion a year from 2007.

Objectives: to ensure work pays, to ensure families have sufficient income to give their children a good start in life, to reduce the barriers to work, to simplify the benefit structure, to ensure people receive their full entitlement.

Components: Increases to Family Support, Childcare Assistance, the Accommodation Supplement, introduction of a new In Work payment for working parents, more generous work provisions for recipients of the Invalids Benefit.
Numbers affected: the new Family Assistance regime will be available to 61 per cent of all families with dependent children, netting them on average an additional $66 a week. Families in the lower - $25,000 to $45,000 - income range will net around $100 a week.

Implementation: begins in October, 2004 and runs through to 1 April, 2007.

Health:

Extension of three-year health funding path to 2006-07 with an allocation of $550 million in that year.
Primary health component of the health package to increase sharply: from $48 million in 2002-03 to $264 million in 2004-05 and $280 million in 2005-06.
$802 million in capital funding to 2007-08 for hospital building programme.
$250 million over next four years for Mental Health Blueprint.

Education:

$206 million over four years for primary and secondary education.
$365 million over four years for early childhood education.

Social Welfare:

$75.5 million for parenting support programmes through the Supporting Families package.

Housing:

$140 million to build greater stability in the rental housing sector, including $126 million capital to build another 3000 new state houses over the next three years.

New Zealand Superannuation: $2.1 billion to the NZ Superannuation Fund.

Accident Compensation:

$75 million over the next four years to increase ACC contributions toward injury treatment.

Maori development: $14 million for locally-based whanau initiatives.

Already announced:

$30 million in 2004-05, increasing to up to $70 million a year in four years, to double the number of major joint operations.
$20 million over four years for a suicide and drugs abuse prevention package.
$16.5 over four years for Adult and Community Education providers and quality assurance measures for the sector.

ENDS

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