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Benefits to families - July 1 changes

News Item

posted by WM Admin on 2015-06-30 10:08:29.868

John Key media release, 30 June 2015

A number of government policies that come into effect tomorrow will deliver real benefits to families, Prime Minister John Key says.

From tomorrow all children under 13 will have access to free GP visits and prescriptions.  

It is estimated that over 400,000 children will benefit from the scheme, taking the total number of children who are benefitting from free GP visits and prescriptions to over 750,000.

“We’re committed to giving kids the best start in life and that means ensuring they are able to go to the doctor any time of the day or night without their parents worrying about the cost,” says Mr Key.

“Doctor’s visits and prescriptions are already free for children under the age of six and thanks to our careful management of the government’s books we have been able to extend this policy to all children under 13.”

Other changes that come into effect tomorrow include:

  • The average ACC motor vehicle levy, including the annual licence levy and petrol levy, will fall from around $330 to $195 per year.
  • Paid parental leave payments will increase with the maximum weekly rate for eligible employees and self-employed parents going from $504.10 to $516.85 gross.
  • More assistance for solo parents who are studying
  • Additional checks for people working with young New Zealanders
  • More funding will also be made available to hospices to help them expand their community palliative services to better support terminally ill people at home and in aged-care facilities.

“These changes show how a growing and vibrant economy is delivering New Zealanders more money in their back pockets.”