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Budget 2007: Families, Young and Old - Summary

Budget 2007: Families, Young and Old

Budget 2007 strengthens the Labour-led government's investment in creating a bright, healthy and secure future for our families, young and old. It builds on our work since 1999 to give all New Zealanders a stake in society, and to ensure the benefits of economic transformation can be widely shared.

It is vital that we make sure our children get the best possible start in life. This budget continues Labour's mission to put quality early childhood education (ECE) within the reach of all New Zealanders, as part of the 10 year ECE strategic plan to improve quality, boost participation and promote collaboration.

The roll out of 20 Hours Free ECE is key to improving access and reducing the burden on families. Budget 2007 builds more schools and provides more teachers. Since 2000 we have hired more than 4000 extra teachers. More than half a billion dollars overall is being invested in our young people through Labour's drive to build a world-class education system.

Health represents our biggest investment in families, with $11.9 billion to be spent in the sector in total this coming year – $5.5 billion more than in 2000/01.
This will build on Labour's drive to boost access to Primary Health Organisations, with the final roll out of cheaper doctor visits for the 45 – 64 age group from 1 July – a major policy Labour has delivered as promised.

Working for Families is a key strategy to help families, which need it most, make ends meet. Taking the pressure off families is good for children, their parents and our communities. Working for Families is now available to around three quarters of all families, after the final roll out on April 1 of an increase in the tax credit of $10 per child – another major policy delivered as promised.

The Labour-led government is determined to make New Zealand a better place to live and work. That's why we introduced four weeks annual leave on 1 April and again increased the minimum wage.

Budget 2007 goes further to create strong and safe communities for our families with help for community organisations and youth offender programmes. Funding is also being provided for the second tranche of the additional 1000 frontline police officers.

Older New Zealanders have always been a priority for the Labour-led government. We restored superannuation payments and lowered the burden of asset testing. Budget 2007 continues support for senior citizens with increases to superannuation payments and extra help for residential care and care at home.

Budget 2007 further underlines the progress we have made in building stronger, communities. Our families, young and old, are healthier, wealthier and more secure and the government will continue to build a fair society and a strong economy to improve prosperity for all.


Families, Young and Old – major initiatives


Health

$3 billion ($750 million per year). This includes:

- expanding the elective surgery initiative ($238 million)
- increasing the focus on obesity through Healthy Eating-Healthy Action and Get Checked ($63.9 million)
- furthering the Cancer Control strategy ($26 million)
- modernising information technology infrastructure ($61.8 million)
- improving services for people with disabilities and older people, including through addressing workforce issues arising from low-paid workers in DHBs and within aged residential and home based support settings ($356 million)
- addressing emerging pressures on DHB pharmaceutical budgets ($80 million)
- including the pneumococcal vaccine in the National Immunisation Schedule to protect the public from this disease ($68 million)

Education

- $64.6 million for Early Childhood Education, bringing total investment in ECE to $755.2 million in 2007/08.
- $238.3 million of capital funding to build new schools and modernise existing schools.
- $133.4 million for 702 additional teachers.

Safer families and stronger communities

- The $20.4 million (over 2 years) 'Pathway to Partnership' strategy will boost the ability of community organisations to work with government to deliver services that support New Zealand children and families.
- Funding to further support the deployment of the second tranche of the 1000 new police officers.
- $2.4 million to strengthen the Police Complaints Authority.
- The Human Rights Commission will receive $8.7 million (including $540,000 of capital funding) to strengthen capacity to deliver key programmes and to improve information technology.

ENDS

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