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Labour pledge card for third term in office

19 July 2005
Media Statement

Labour commits to pledge card for third term in office

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that Labour is issuing a pledge card again this election outlining key commitments it is making to New Zealanders, during a third term of a Labour-led government.

Helen Clark also announced that one of the key pledges would be Labour's plan to make big improvements to the rates rebates scheme.

Helen Clark said that Labour had pioneered the use of pledge cards in New Zealand in response to the public distaste for years of broken promises by previous governments which had preceded Labour's win in the1999 election.

"Once again credibility and trust will be key election issues. Voters will decide not only which policies they prefer, but also whether they can trust parties to keep their word.

"Over two terms in office, Labour has established a track record for keeping its word. We expect to be held accountable for our promises. That's why we don't over promise like other parties. When I sign the pledge card, I sign up to deliver on those commitments," Helen Clark said.

Helen Clark made today's announcement at a meeting hosted by Hamilton Grey Power. She said that this year's pledge card would again contain seven key pledges in important policy areas including health, education, and law and order. The pledges will be unveiled over the coming weeks. Some involve key policy already announced for a third term in government, and others set fresh goals and targets.

"Today I am also announcing that our popular policy to make big improvements to rates rebates will be one of our key pledges.

"Up to 300,000 households will be eligible for the revamped rates rebate. That's up from only around 3,500 now. As well, the maximum rebate will increase from $200 to $500 per annum.

"This policy is of special significance to superannuitants who have to budget carefully to pay for their rates. For example, single superannuitants on an income of $16,645 next year will be eligible for the full rebate of $500 if their rates bill is over $1000. This equates to an increase in income of almost ten dollars a week to help with the rates."

Helen Clark said that all Labour's pledges would be responsible and fully costed.

"Over two terms in government, New Zealanders have seen Labour run a strong economy and strong budgets while also making big investments in critical areas, from health and education, to superannuation and family services, and to law and order and key infrastructure.

"It is impossible to maintain the ongoing investment needed in all these areas and give the big tax cuts to every New Zealander promised by National. They cannot be trusted either to maintain and improve core services or to keep mortgage interest rates down.

"It's no wonder that they have failed to date to deliver an alternative, fully costed budget. Their promises don't stack up.

"Labour has delivered strong, stable government to New Zealand, based on being upfront with voters and doing what we said we would. Our pledge card and our commitment to keep our word are central to our campaign for a third term," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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