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Tax cuts deliver NZ Superannuation boost

Hon Ruth Dyson
Senior Citizens

Tax cuts deliver NZ Superannuation boost

Older people will benefit greatly from a number of initiatives in this year’s Budget, says Senior Citizens Minister Ruth Dyson.

Included in this year’s Budget announcements are:

• Net payments of New Zealand Superannuation will increase from 1 October 2008 as a result of personal tax cuts. The increase for a married couple will be $45.88 per fortnight and $23.84 for a single superannuitant living alone. This increase is in addition to the annual adjustments made to reflect increases to living costs. As the tax cut package is rolled out there will be further increases to the rates of net New Zealand Superannuation on 1 April 2010 and 2011.

• As part of New Zealand First’s confidence and supply agreement with this government: $72 million over four years to provide free off-peak travel for SuperGold Card holders on all forms of public transport, and $18 million over four years to fund a significant increase in the subsidy for hearing aids.

• A $24.6 million boost to assist 7,500 caregivers caring for more than 10,000 children. This new funding enables the Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Orphan’s Benefit (UCB/OB) to match the Foster Care Allowance (FCA) weekly rates from 1 April 2009. “This is not only a positive investment in our children but is also recognition of the valuable role that carers – particularly grandparents – play when children cannot be with their parents.”

• $446.5 million to fully fund contracted essential services delivered by community organisations for vulnerable families, children and young people, and to make annual cost adjustments. This includes the elder abuse and neglect services.

Ruth Dyson said these initiatives are the latest of a raft of policies to support older New Zealanders that this government has progressively implemented from its first year in office.

“For example, we have lifted Superannuation levels; the NZ Super Fund has been set up; asset testing on older people in care is being phased out; changes to subsidies for doctors visits have greatly reduced doctors’ fees for superannuitants; we have increased eligibility for, and the value of, household rates rebates; and we have passed comprehensive legislation protecting the interests of older people in retirement villages,” Ruth Dyson said.

ENDS

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