Labour delivers on major policies for families

  • Helen Clark
Prime Minister

Prime Minister Helen Clark said that three big policies of the Labour-led Government which come into force today support families to plan and save for the future, have their children taught in early childhood centres, and have affordable primary health care.

Today sees the implementation of KiwiSaver, of eligibility for 20 hours free early childhood education, and the final roll out of cheaper doctor's visits and prescriptions for all New Zealanders.

"Labour’s policies help ensure that all our families can succeed, both now and in the future," Helen Clark said.

"At each of the past three elections, we have campaigned on specific polices to lift family living standards, and improve access to public services like health and education.

“1 July is an important date for rolling out more these policies.

"KiwiSaver makes it easier than ever before for working New Zealanders to save for their retirement. The government will provide a $1,000 kick start to the KiwiSaver account of every New Zealander who joins the scheme, will match savings up to $1,040 a year through the $20 a week tax credit, and over the next few years will phase in employer contributions.

"Labour is also the only major party committed to delivering both KiwiSaver and universal New Zealand Superannuation for retirement. We believe New Zealanders are entitled to universal superannuation, and that KiwiSaver should be available so that people can further improve their retirement income.

"The implementation of 20 hours free early childhood education for three and four year olds also begins on 1 July. Many tens of thousands of children in teacher-led centres will be covered by this policy from the outset.

"This is the biggest expansion of free education since the introduction of free secondary schooling by the First Labour Government in the 1930s, and in many cases will save parents thousands of dollars a year," Helen Clark said.

"I am also very proud that our government has now achieved universal affordable primary health care with the rollout of cheaper doctor's visits and prescriptions to the 25-44 year olds, the last age group to be incorporated in the scheme.

"Our $2.2 billion investment in primary health care has seen the annual cost of going to a general practitioner fall from about $940 a year to around $440 for the average family, while for an older couple who on average paid about $780 year, the cost is now around $340 a year.

"These policies – together with Working for Families – are transforming the lives of our families for the better – fulfilling the vision of Labour for a better life for all," Helen Clark said.

Other related statements:
  • Celebrate the start of 20 Hours Free ECE
    Helen Clark and Steve Maharey media statement, 2/07/2007: Prime Minister Helen Clark says the take-up rate of the Labour-led Government's 20 hours free Early Childhood Education policy is a vote of confidence in the initiative. More than 65,000 three and four year olds are benefiting from the policy.
  • Government delivers on Primary Health promise
    Pete Hodgson media statement 2/07/2007: A major milestone in the delivery of healthcare to all New Zealanders was reached today with the universal roll out of cheaper doctor visits and cheaper prescription charges. "This is an achievement I am immensely proud of, a day worth celebrating," said Health Minister Pete Hodgson. "Labour has always said cost should never be a barrier to visiting the family doctor. This final roll out for the 25-44 aged group means another roughly one million New Zealanders now have access to affordable primary healthcare."
  • Whanau the winners from Labour's three big policies
    Parekura Horomia media statement, 2/07/2007: The major policies of the Labour-led government which came into force on 1 July will have a significant and positive impact on the education and health of our Mâori whânau, as well as help them save for their future, says Mâori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia.