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Labour champions rates rebate for elderly

A significant financial anomaly for many of New Zealand’s elderly will be fixed by a Labour Bill says Labour’s Senior Citizens spokesperson Ruth Dyson. 

“My Bill aims to fix an anomaly in the rates rebate scheme for older New Zealanders living in retirement homes.

“It’s a straightforward Bill that has so far passed through Parliament unopposed. It fixes the anomaly around ‘occupation rights agreements’ which did not exist when the legislation was first introduced in 1973. 

“Now these agreements are big and most residents of retirement homes don’t own their own units but have an ‘occupation rights agreement.’ This means while they pay rates to the village owner, they are not entitled to a rebate. 

“Almost half of New Zealand’s current retirement home residents are dependent on superannuation so they would be eligible to apply for a rebate. 

“It’s really rewarding that Parliament has so far supported this Bill on a bipartisan basis. I now expect the Local Government and Environment Select Committee to call for submissions next week. 

“ It is a triumph of common-sense and we want people to have their voice heard. This will make lives for our older citizens a little easier,” says Ruth Dyson.