Working Hard For New Zealand’s Senior Citizens

Columns
Monday, April 27, 2015

From our youngest to our oldest New Zealanders, the National-led Government is working hard to make the country a better place to live, work and raise a family.

We want a society where people can age positively, and where older people are highly valued as an integral part of families and the community.

National has maintained financial security for seniors. We have kept the retirement age at 65, and the after-tax weekly rates of Superannuation have increased by 31 per cent since 2008. We have also maintained Superannuation for a married couple at 66 per cent of the average wage.

Our successful economic management means healthcare continues to improve. National is investing over $400m extra each year in public health services. We are shifting resources from the back office to the frontline and there are now an extra 1500 doctors and 3300 more nurses across the country.

Latest health target results show 161,933 hip, knee and other elective operations were performed by district health boards in the last year. This helps our older New Zealanders maintain their independence and get out and about.

Additionally, National is working hard to keep Kiwi families safer. We put 600 extra Police on the streets and deployed them more strategically, in areas and at times when Police know there’s a greater risk of crime. Under National, we have achieved the lowest crime rate since 1978.

We have worked hard to maintain independence for seniors. The SuperGold Card gives older New Zealanders the opportunity to do the things they enjoy, like using free off-peak travel to visit friends and family. Over 8000 businesses offer SuperGold Card discounts and this continues to rise.

We are recruiting more legal services to the scheme, as well as other businesses offering those services that incur unavoidable expenses. This is a way to take financial stress off families.

Also, we’ve just released the Positive Aging Strategy report which shows New Zealand is progressing well in most areas. National knows we can improve on this, and will work hard to raise awareness of elder abuse and social isolation, and support and promote our seniors’ economic activity.

National remains committed to ensuring senior citizens have the security, wellbeing and respect they deserve.

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