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Working Hard for Families

7 September 2005

Judith Collins Family and Welfare Spokesperson

Working Hard for Families

National on families Families are the crucial building blocks of our society. National knows how important families are and is determined to give families the best chance to provide a secure upbringing for our children. In today's world more and more pressure is placed on families. National understands that pressure and will make government more family-friendly.

Fair tax plan for families The tax burden on all New Zealanders is too high. National understands families need a break. National will let families keep more of their income, so our kids get a better start. National will:

* Use some of the government's $7 billion annual surplus to reduce income tax in April 2006 and again in April 2007
* Tax income up to $12,500 at 15%, from $12,500 to $50,000 at 19% and from $50,000 to $100,000 at 33%
* Reduce tax on extra work from 33% to 19% for the average wage earner
* Retain Working for Families, but redesign it so that incentives are provided automatically via the tax system

The Fair Tax Plan means:

* Families with a single income of $45,000pa and one child under 13 will be $102 a week better off next year
* Families with a single income of $50,000pa and two children under 13 will be $131 a week better off next year
* Families with two incomes of $50,000 and $20,000 and three children under 13 will be $106 a week better off next year

Check what National's Fair Tax Plan means for you at www.taxcuts.co.nz http://www.taxcuts.co.nz/

Childcare Childcare costs are a serious burden for many families. Parents need help with these costs and they need flexibility when making their childcare choices. National will:

* Make pre-school childcare costs tax deductible for up to $5,000 per child
* Allow costs to be deducted at 33%, giving a tax refund of up to $1,650 a child per year
* Make the deduction available for all forms of pre-school childcare, including registered childcare centers, nannies or home-based care

Better schooling A decent education is the greatest gift a community can give its children. Far too many Kiwi kids are not getting this gift. National will change this. National will:

* Continue to grow the education budget
* Reduce waste and spend more money on schools
* Bring in national standards for English and maths
* Provide vouchers to parents whose children have trouble with reading or maths
* Overhaul NCEA and give students grades that can be understood
* Remove Labour's rigid school zoning
* Tell parents how their children are getting on at school, and how well their school is doing

Improve access to healthcare The most vulnerable people in our society need better and faster access to affordable healthcare. National will:

* Continue to grow the health budget
* Cut Labour's huge waste of health dollars and reverse the decline in health sector productivity
* Maintain existing primary health subsides for the young, the retired and others that need support
* Develop a strategy to fight child obesity
* Introduce a dental health strategy for all school-age children
* Target 95% completion of immunisation and Well Child checks

More support for parents National values the work people do as parents and we will ensure parents have adequate backup when dealing with difficult children. National will:

* Promote parenting assistance, in particular for parents of children in the Youth Justice system
* Focus on early intervention for families most in need
* Support schools in their efforts to eliminate bullying and truancy
* Expand Parents as First Teachers, Family Start, and the HIPPY programme * Stop the political correctness undermining parents' rights

ENDS

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