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

 


Supporting families and returning to surplus

Supporting families and returning to surplus

A $500 million support package for families and children, dividends from a growing economy, and a track to surplus next year are all features of Budget 2014, Prime Minister John Key says.

“The Budget shows the economy is continuing to build momentum and provides further evidence that the Government’s programme is on the right track,” he says.

“Forecasts show a $372 million surplus next year, increasing surpluses in subsequent years, and the economy growing by between 2 per cent and 4 per cent annually over the next four years.

“But what actually matters to families and vulnerable New Zealanders are the opportunities created by a sustainable economic recovery.

“A strong economy supports more jobs and higher incomes, and allows us to provide important public services such as health and education that New Zealanders rely on.

“Because of the Government’s responsible economic and fiscal management, Budget 2014 also provides significant extra support for families and young children in a way that is both effective and affordable.

“Our $500 million Budget package is focused clearly on young families and those vulnerable children who most need our care and protection.”

The package has five parts, and over the next four years will include:
· $172 million to boost the paid parental leave scheme. Paid leave will be extended by four weeks – starting with a two-week extension from 1 April 2015, and another two weeks from 1 April 2016. The eligibility of paid parental leave will also be expanded to include caregivers other than parents (for example, permanent guardians), and to extend payments to people in less-regular work or who recently changed jobs.
· $42 million to increase the parental tax credit from $150 a week to $220 a week, and increase the entitlement from eight weeks to 10 weeks, from 1 April 2015.
· $90 million to provide free GP visits and free prescriptions for children aged under 13, starting on 1 July 2015.
· An additional $156 million to help early childhood education centres to remain accessible and affordable, meet demand pressures and increase participation towards the Government’s 98 per cent target.
· $33 million in 2014/15 to help vulnerable children, including eight new children’s teams around the country to identify and work with at-risk children and their families, to screen people who work with children, and to support children in care.

“So although the Government is continuing to be careful with its spending, we have made the well-being of families and children a priority in Budget 2014,” Mr Key says.

“It’s important that we support parents in helping them to give their children the best start in life.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news