Labour-led government delivers for familiesPrime Minister
Major initiatives coming into force on Sunday 1 April will make a significant difference to the lives of New Zealand families, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.
Helen Clark, accompanied by a number of Labour MPs, is today visiting the Mangere Town Centre market, to talk with families about the policies coming into force on April 1.
They include the full implementation of the Working for Families package, the introduction of a minimum four weeks annual holiday for workers, a 9.8 per cent rise in the minimum wage, and a significant boost to the rate of New Zealand Superannuation.
"Labour came into government in 1999 committed to providing opportunity and security to New Zealand families, and year after year in government, we have delivered on our promises to families.
"The policies coming into force on Sunday show that the Labour-led government is serious about delivering real gains to families.
"The $10 per week, per child boost to family tax credits will benefit around three out of every four families with children, and lifts tens of thousands of children out of income poverty. This is of huge importance to families and to New Zealand.
"Delivering on our promise of a minimum of four weeks annual leave will allow all workers to spend more time with their families, and is especially helpful in giving working parents more time off during the school holidays
"I'm also very proud that our government is delivering a major increase in the minimum wage today. The 119,000 workers on the minimum wage will get a 9.8 per cent pay rise as the adult minimum wage rises to $11.25 an hour, and the sixteen and seventeen year old rate to $9.00 an hour.
"We're also making sure that older New Zealanders share our country's economic success. As agreed with New Zealand First, the rate of New Zealand Superannuation and the Veteran's Pension are set at no less than 66 per cent of the net average, ordinary time weekly wage.
"On Sunday, the single living alone rate lifts by $13.16 per week, and the rate for couples lifts by an extra $20.24 per week.
"These four initiatives are a big boost for families. And there is more to come, on 1 July, with the launch of Kiwisaver and the achievement of universal affordable primary health care," Helen Clark said.