Delivering for Pacific communities on 1 April

Monday 31 March 2008, 9:30PM
By Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban

The Labour-led's government investment in businesses, families and communities means there is a lot for Pacific peoples to celebrate on 1 April, Pacific Islands Affairs Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said today. 

"Pacific workers will benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to $12 an hour, the 9th increase under the Labour-led government," Laban said.

"1 April also marks the anniversary of our workers enjoying four weeks annual leave, allowing them more time to spend with their families."

Pacific peoples enrolled in KiwiSaver will be able to save even more, with employer contributions of one per cent going into their accounts from 1 April.

"KiwiSaver is allowing our Pacific people to plan for the future, developing a culture of savings. I encourage all members of our communities to plan for their retirement, and the option for a two per cent contribution rate makes this easier."

From 1 April businesses are able to invest more in their workers with the government tax credit for employer contributions to KiwiSaver starting.

"Combined with the reduction in the company tax rate to 30 cents in the dollar, and a 15 per cent tax credit for businesses investing in research and development, Labour is working with business and industry to support innovation and investment in employees," said Laban.

Pacific families young and old are also benefiting on 1 April from consumer price index adjustments for student allowances and superannuation.

"Our Pacific communities are known for their giving and will also welcome the removal of the cap on charitable donations taking effect from 1 April," Laban said.

"I am proud to be part of a government investing in families and in our economy, who are delivering for Pacific communities and all New Zealanders on 1 April."