30 Jun 2015

PM promises new policies will deliver benefits

10:06 am on 30 June 2015

The Prime Minister is promising real benefits to families from new Government policies that kick off on Wednesday.

John Key says the policies which are set to come in tomorrow will benefit families.

John Key says the policies which are set to come in tomorrow will benefit families. Photo: 123RF

From 1 July, drivers will pay less to license their cars, more young New Zealanders will get free doctors visits, and there will be funding boosts for palliative care and parental leave.

John Key said the Government's new initiatives were the result of a stellar economy.

"Starting Wednesday all children under 13 will have access to free GP visits and prescriptions. The average motor vehicle levy, including the annual licence fee and petrol levy will fall."

Mr Key said paid parental leave payments would increase and more funding would be available to hospices to help them expand palliative care services to better support terminally ill people.

He said they were yet more examples of how a growing and vibrant economy was delivering real benefits to families.

On Wednesday the Government would begin providing an extra $13 million a year for palliative care.

Labour's health spokesperson Annette King said while she welcomed the extra investment, the public needed to remember spending in that area had fallen under the current Government.

"The palliative care money actually takes the funding to hospices back up to 70 percent where it was when we left government," Mrs King said.

She said the public needed to realise that for six years there was a drop going on.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said he was pleased the Government was extending free doctors visits to children under 13 - pointing out he introduced free visits for under 6s in the mid-1990s.

But Mr Peters said the average 41 percent fall in the cost of licensing a vehicle was nothing to celebrate.

He said it was always massively overpriced in the first place which was not justified.

"Particularly when you link it to ACC costs which were enormous in the extreme and not required at that level."

The ACC levy on petrol also drops on 1 July by three cents a litre, but motorists will not save at the pump as the Government is increasing excise duty on fuel by the same amount.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs