Parliament

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

 

Fairer deal for older New Zealanders from 1 July

29 June 2006

Fairer deal for older New Zealanders from 1 July

Ruth Dyson, Minister for Senior Citizens announced a range of initiatives from the Labour-led government to benefit older New Zealanders in her speech to Age Concern Tauranga today.

“From 1 July, around 2000 superannuitants with a spouse or partner in long-term residential care will be eligible to be paid the single, living alone rate of New Zealand Super,” says Minister for Senior Citizens, Ruth Dyson.

“This is an increase of $59 a week – or over $3000 a year - for a superannuitant living alone, or $39.36 per week – or over $2000 a year - for a superannuitant sharing with another person. This change reverses a discriminatory situation that has existed since 1993.

“With rising property values, rates can be a burden on households with fixed incomes. So from July 1 of this year, we are increasing the maximum annual rebate from $200 to $500 and widening the eligibility for assistance.

“As a result, a couple living on NZ Superannuation ($25,276 a year) will now be eligible for a rebate of $234 if the rates bill for their home is $1500. An estimated 300,000 people annually are expected to benefit with the 4,000 who claimed a rebate in 2004/5.

“The next stage in the phase out of income and asset testing for people in aged residential care comes into effect on 1 July. Single people and couples with both partners in care will be able to keep up to $160,000 - up from $150,000 currently - in assets before they are used to contribute to the cost of their care.

“Also from 1 July this year, the removal of the ‘sharing expenses rule’ takes effect. And we are extending the period of time a person can continue to receive superannuation while they are working voluntarily for an aid agency overseas, from one to three years.

“The Labour-led government is committed to strengthening New Zealand families, young and old, so that all New Zealanders are able to maintain active, fulfilling lives, and participate fully in our communities. We want all New Zealanders to have the support they need to be secure,” Ms Dyson said.

July 1 changes for older New Zealanders

Single, living alone rate of New Zealand Super
Around 2,000 superannuitants with a spouse or partner in long-term residential care will be eligible to be paid the single, living alone rate of New Zealand Super. This is an increase of $59 a week for a superannuitant living alone, or $39.36 per week for a superannuitant sharing with another person. This change reverses a discriminatory situation that has existed since 1993.

Living Alone payment
The removal of the ‘sharing expenses rule’ takes effect. In the past, this rule has prevented some single superannuitants from getting the Living Alone payment if their families are helping to pay for some household expenses, such as rates.

Working overseas for aid agencies

The government is extending the period of time a person can continue to receive New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension while they are overseas and working voluntarily for an aid agency, from 52 weeks to three years. Currently there are about 40 older volunteers who are working overseas for aid agencies who would benefit from the extended entitlement period.

Rates rebate

Up to 300,000 low-income New Zealanders will become eligible to have up to $500 deducted from their annual rates bill – an increase from the previous maximum of $200. The Labour-led government is also raising the income threshold for a rebate from $7,400 to $20,000 per year. As a result, a couple living on NZ Superannuation ($25,276 a year) this year will be eligible for a rebate of $234 if the rates bill for their home is $1500. The government's investment will assist around 300,000 people a year compared with the 4000 who claimed a rebate in 2004/5.

Income and asset testing

Continuing the phase out of income and asset testing for people in aged residential care from 1 July - a key election promise from 1999. From 1 July single people and couples with both partners in care will be able to keep up to $160,000 - up from $150,000 currently - in assets before they are used to contribute to the cost of their care. When Labour came into government, the thresholds were just $15,000 for single people and $30,000 for couples. The exemption thresholds will increase by $10,000 each year, progressively removing asset testing.

Home-based support services and age-related residential care

The recent Budget provided for $126 million over the next four years for improving home-based support services and age-related residential care, helping more older New Zealanders remain in their homes for as long as they wish.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election