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.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news