Lots of people are finding it tough right now, with prices rising right across the world. New Zealanders need a Prime Minister and Government that understand the pressures they are under – and that has a plan to take practical steps to reduce that pressure and help Kiwis get ahead by prioritising the things that matter most.
Under Chris Hipkins, Labour is focused on the bread and butter issues of today: making life easier for families, supporting the economy to grow, improving education and health outcomes, and building infrastructure for a better tomorrow. We’re prioritising what matters most to every-day New Zealanders.
Labour’s number one priority is to support New Zealand families and businesses through the difficult economic conditions. We will do that from a solid position, with some of the lowest debt in the world, an economy that is nearly 8% larger than before COVID, record numbers of people in work with growing wages, and continued investment in critical services we all rely on like health, education and housing.
Our 10-point plan is carefully calibrated to deal with the pressures families are facing right now, while laying the foundations for long-term benefits and not exacerbating inflationary pressures, as tax cuts would. We recognise that many people and whānau need some help with the basics right now which is why our Government is continuing to make targeted investments that won’t drive up inflation.
Creating Jobs and Growing Wages
Building an economy that keeps wages growing ahead of inflation, maintains record low unemployment, keeps a lid on debt and maintains prudent levels of Government spending.
Bringing inflation under control
We will keep a lid on debt and maintain prudent levels of Government spending and returns inflation to the Reserve Bank’s target range. We’ll address the causes of high prices by tackling big profits through improving competition supermarket competition, new entry, bank market study response and transitioning away from volatile fossil fuels through incentivising electric cars and installing EV chargers up and down the country.
Protecting Free Prescriptions
In the 2023 Budget, we removed the $5 prescription charge to make it easier and cheaper for New Zealanders to access the medicines they need. This is already having a meaningful impact for many households, particularly those who have multiple prescriptions to fill on a regular basis.
We’ve extended targeted childcare assistance to half of New Zealand children, increased funding for ECE centres to take pressure off parents and will extend 20-hours free ECE to two-year olds from next year.
Protecting Free and half priced public transport
We are making public transport permanently free for under 13s, half priced for under 25 year-olds and one million low-income New Zealanders with a community services card, and will protect free off-peak travel for SuperGold Card holders.
Targeted cost of living support for working Kiwi families
We are increasing support for low-income working families, making sure that work pays and assisting with additional costs, such as transport and childcare, for Kiwis who work, through increases to Working for Families.
GST off Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables have been particularly impacted, increasing 22 percent in the last year, as the weather plays havoc with supply chains and impacts our growers. To provide targeted support to this important cost pressure we will remove the GST off Fruit and Vegetables.
Expand free basic dental care to 800,000 young Kiwis as the first step in the journey to free dental care for all adults
The 2020 New Zealand Dental Association Fee Survey found the average cost of an examination and an x-ray was $100. An extraction adds an extra $247. This is a significant cost imposition. We know that last year more than 1.5 million adults had an unmet need for dental care due to cost.
Reducing Power Bills
Our 12-point Plan to increase renewable electricity in New Zealand will mean cheaper power bills and increased economic security in a volatile world. We will make New Zealand a renewable energy superpower increasing generation and exporting our energy and expertise to the world. We’ll also take practice steps to reduce power bills by delivering 100,000 more insulation and heating retrofits through Warmer Kiwi Homes, and creating new incentives for retrofitting, insulating, and installing double glazing in cold, damp homes, and to install solar panels.
Extending healthy school lunches for 230,000 students at nearly 1,000 schools and kura to the end of the next Parliamentary term
Food in Schools is a programme we are incredibly proud of, and parents, principals, and teachers all agree on the benefits of kids learning on full tummies. This programme saves families an average of $33 per week per child, or up to $1,250 per year.
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