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


National announces transitional relief package

John Key MP National Party Leader

31 October 2008

National announces transitional relief package

National Party Leader John Key says he has absolute confidence that with a fresh growth-oriented approach, New Zealand and New Zealanders will emerge in a strong position from the current global turmoil.

"If we come together as New Zealanders and squarely face these challenges, we will emerge all the stronger for it."

"If New Zealanders vote for National to lead the next Government we will be guided by two goals: providing Kiwis with financial security, and setting the economy on a growth path.

"But in a time of economic uncertainty it is absolutely vital that the Government provide New Zealanders with security about the public services they can expect and the support they are entitled to. There is absolutely no way I will pull the rug out from New Zealanders when they most need the Government's help.

"For the next two years, while New Zealand navigates its way through this global recession, National will offer extra assistance to Kiwis who are worst hit by redundancy.

"National's transitional relief package will offer assistance to people who are made redundant and who, as a result, either go on a benefit or have to rely on the income of a relatively low-paid partner or spouse.

"This assistance will be available until they get another job and their circumstances improve, or for up to 16 weeks.

"This assistance will give redundant New Zealanders some space to sort out their financial affairs and get a new job or adjust their circumstances following a redundancy. It will give them a helping hand in a tough time.

"It will also be simple to administer. I don't want to add more bureaucracy to the already complex system of state support. National's package builds on entitlements that already exist and for which eligibility rules are already in place."

Mr Key says the package has two parts: 1) A $100 boost to the maximum weekly Accommodation Supplement, to help people pay their rent or mortgage, and 2) A Working for Families top-up equivalent to the in-work tax credit, for those families that were previously receiving it but have become ineligible because of a redundancy.

Both of these extra payments will be available for up to 16 weeks for those who have been in the same job for six months.

"The boost to the maximum Accommodation Supplement is important because it is specifically aimed at people who may find it hard to pay their rent or mortgage. It allows for their particular circumstances, including where they live, the size of their rent or mortgage payments, and their family make-up.

"The Working for Families top-up is important because it covers the double blow some families may receive when one of them loses their job. At the moment people who are made redundant not only lose their wages, they may also lose their eligibility for the in-work tax credit."

National estimates this package will cost no more than $42 million a year and has left head room in its fiscal policy for this plan.

"The important thing to know is that National's transitional relief package is carefully targeted, is based on existing entitlements, and is designed to help Kiwis meet their financial obligations at a tough time in their lives. It will help Kiwis who have worked hard and have big aspirations for the future but who are, through no fault of their own, coping with a big financial blow.

"The biggest difference with Labour's plan is that theirs is one of 30 or so spending promises that one week out from an election are still completely unfunded. They have no idea where the money is coming from; they have given no indication what programmes they will cut to pay for it. It is, in short, a political hoax.

"Should I be elected to lead the next Government, I will introduce this relief package as a matter of priority. It will initially be available for two years, at which point we will have a close look at it to determine whether or not it should continue, either in whole or in part.

"We all have a stake in getting our most vulnerable through a rough patch. This is a country that was built on a sense of fairness and a sense of our obligations to each other.

"I am simply not prepared to look hard-pressed New Zealanders in the eye and say 'you're on your own in this recession'. I will stay the course with them during tough times."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The SFO’s Investigation Of New Zealand First

On one level. New Zealand First has been the agent of its own misfortune. The New Zealand First Foundation handling the donations at the centre of the Serious Fraud Office investigation was reportedly (a) authorised by the NZF party’s board and (b)the money was apparently used to finance the party’s activities. Yet the disclosure trail remained opaque. According to its critics, NZF can’t have it both ways: it can’t claim that the foundation and the party were entirely separate legal entities, and then go to court to try and block the SFO from releasing its findings because of the likely impact on the party’s electoral fortunes... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Whether This Election Is Already A Foregone Conclusion

Currently, this election looks like being a no contest. The weekend’s Newshub poll has the centre left enjoying a roughly 57-36% lead over the centre right. Labour is on 50.1% and the Greens 6.5%, while National remains in the dreaded 20s at 29.6% More>>


Serious Fraud Office: Files Charges In Relation To NZ First Foundation Donations

The SFO has filed a charge of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ against two defendants in the New Zealand First Foundation electoral funding case. The charges were filed on 23 September. The defendants have interim name suppression and so cannot be named ... More>>


Economy: Business Leaders’ Confidence Tanks As Top Kiwi CEOs Vent Their Frustrations

The New Zealand Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom 2020 Election Survey has been released with top business leaders saying New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery is in peril – and they want a decisive role with Government in the country’s future. The annual ... More>>


Poll: Newshub-Reid Research Poll Shows National Rising But Labour Still Governing Alone

With less than three weeks to go, Labour remains in a position where it could govern alone in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll* on 50.1% - down 10.8 percentage points. National has risen slightly to 29.6% (up 4.5 percentage points), but even with the ... More>>


Government: Taking Action To Reduce Waste And Plastics

Phase out single use and hard to recycle plastics by 2025 Create a $50m Plastics Innovation Fund to develop alternatives Standardise kerbside recycling The Labour Party is taking the next step in removing plastic rubbish from our oceans and environment ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>


Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels