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Labour delivering for New Zealand’s future

4 November 2007 Media Statement

Labour delivering for New Zealand’s future

New Zealanders are embracing the Labour-led government’s work to boost savings and improve the skills of our young people, Finance Minister and Minister for Tertiary Education Michael Cullen said today.

Dr Cullen announced today that the number of New Zealanders in KiwiSaver has already passed a quarter of a million, standing at 261,000 as of 29 October.

In addition, the number of young people actively participating in Modern Apprenticeships has reached 13,838. The programme looks set to achieve its 14,000 target for 2008 before the end of this year.

“The Labour-led government is delivering on our promises to New Zealanders,” Michael Cullen said. “At the last election, we fought to deliver KiwiSaver against an opposition who had promised to scrap the scheme to pay for reckless tax cuts.

“At this year’s budget we announced major enhancements to the scheme to make it easier for all families to save for their future. The National Party voted against the enhancements and is still refusing to back them.

“Now with over a quarter million KiwiSavers, it is clear that New Zealanders are seizing the opportunity to save with the scheme growing three times as fast as some had predicted. Still, the National Party won’t commit to KiwiSaver and they’re now talking about cutting superannuation rates.

“It is a similar story with Modern Apprenticeships. The Labour-led government has worked hard to restore the place of trades training in our economy after the last National government scrapped apprenticeships programmes.

“At the last election we said we wanted to see 14,000 young people gaining skills through active participation in Modern Apprenticeships during 2008. We now look set to achieve that before the end of this year.

“The Labour-led government is delivering on policies that will better prepare New Zealand for the future. While New Zealanders are embracing them enthusiastically, John Key and the National Party are opposing them at every step.”

ends

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