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New Zealand First Delivers on Super for Seniors

Media Release

28 March 2006

New Zealand First Delivers on Super for Seniors

New Zealand First has kept its pact with New Zealand's 490,000 senior citizens who receive New Zealand Superannuation and a Veterans pension, says the Rt Hon Winston Peters.

"We promised increased superannuation for our seniors and veterans that is what they will be receiving from 1 April this year," said Mr Peters.

"The increase in New Zealand superannuation to 66.12% of the Net Average Wage for married couples meets the requirement of the supply and confidence agreement between New Zealand First and the government to ensure the new floor is 66%.

"This means in real terms that married couples will receive an extra $12.44 a week, while singles living alone will receive $8.09 and singles sharing accommodation an extra $7.46.

"These are not huge amounts, but they are meaningful and will make a real difference to those living on a fixed income.

"New Zealand First is serious about meeting its promises to seniors, which is why they featured so prominently in our supply and confidence agreement with the government. This change on 1 April is the first in a series of important announcements, including the development of a golden age card, as we work towards meeting those promises over the next three years," concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

For senior citizens, as part of its supply and confidence agreement with New Zealand First, the Government has agreed to:
• Develop a Seniors Card able to be used to identify the holder’s eligibility for all public sector entitlements, and which is capable of also being used for claiming negotiated commercial discounts.
• Ensure that the rate of New Zealand Superannuation is set at 66 per cent of the average ordinary time weekly earnings as from 1 April 2006.
• Agree that better recognition can be given to veterans of active overseas service and investigate the best way of achieving that.
• Investigate ways to improve options for senior citizens who may be eligible for foreign pensions as well as New Zealand Superannuation.
• Address the issue of elder care as a matter of priority in the 2006 budget.

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