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

 


Budget 2014: Delivering for our Pacific families

Budget 2014: Delivering for our Pacific families


Budget 2014 delivers real benefits for our Pacific communities, says Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.

“The Budget focuses on the wellbeing of our families and children, and family is at the heart of Pacific culture.

“In addition, the growing economy is providing more opportunities for Pacific people – including more jobs and higher incomes. It’s important that we continue to build on the success of the Government’s economic programme over the next few years.”

The Budget, announced last Thursday, includes a comprehensive $500 million support package for children and families, including:

· $90 million on free doctor visits and prescriptions for children under 13, helping more than 400,000 primary school aged children and their families, in particular up to 40,000 more Pacific kids will get help.

· $171.8 million to increase Paid Parental Leave (PPL) to 18 weeks by 2016, assisting around 26,000 people who get PPL every year.

· $42.3 million to increase parental tax credit from $150 a week to $220 a week and extend it from 8 weeks to 10 weeks, helping around 15,000 families each year.

· $155.7 million to increase participation in early childhood education, with $53.6 million to boost subsidy rates, keeping ECE affordable for our Pacific kids.

· $33 million to help vulnerable children, including eight new children’s teams around the country to identify and work with at-risk children.

“These initiatives represent $500 million in spending that directly benefits all New Zealanders, including our Pacific children, families and communities,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“Currently, 40,000 Pacific children under six can see a doctor for free, day or night. From July next year, about another 45,000 Pacific children between the ages of six and 12 will also be able to get free visits to the doctor and free prescriptions.

“Happier, healthier and more engaged children are better able to learn and succeed at school and in life.”

Mr Lotu-Iiga says he is also pleased with the $22 million in funding for non-government organisations to provide more budgeting services to our families. He says the service helps them to make better financial decisions and ultimately become more financially independent.

He adds that Budget 2014 builds on the successes of Pacific people in recent years.

“We have seen great improvement in our Pacific education results since 2008 when our Government came to office. The Pacific ECE participation rate is at 89 per cent, up from 84 per cent in 2008 and Pacific students leaving with NCEA Level 2 is at 72 per cent, up from 55 per cent in 2008.”

“As educational achievements improve, our ability to obtain employment and higher paying jobs also improves.”

The number of Pacific people in employment has increased – with 7,900 more Pacific people in work than a year ago (from 98,000 to 105,900). Average weekly earnings for Pacific people in paid employment have also increased from $670 in 2008, to $764 in 2013 – an increase of 14% or $94.

“The Budget also allows us to continue the great work of Pacific Employment Support Services. Providers have placed over 296 youth into jobs and a further 172 into training. This service receives another $1 million in funding in Budget 2014.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news