Making a difference for Pacific peoples on 1 October

Wednesday 1 October 2008, 7:02PM
By Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban

Labour-led government initiatives coming into effect today will make a real difference to Pacific peoples, Pacific Island Affairs Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said.


"Our Pacific workers, families and superannuitants will have more money in their pockets thanks to personal tax cuts and boosts to Working for Families kicking in today.


"This will ease the pressure off household budgets, and help Pacific families meet some of the increased costs associated with the current global economic uncertainty.


"For Pacific workers on full-time incomes, the first stage of the Labour-led government's three year tax cuts package is delivering an extra $12 to $28 in the hand every week.


"Pacific parents are finding it easier to work and raise a family thanks to Working for Families. Increases to Working for Families payments and tax cuts means that a family with two children under the age of 13 and one parent earning $45,000 will receive an additional $30.83 in the weekly household budget - this is fantastic news, particularly as this will rise to $62.82 in 2011," said Laban.


As a result of the tax cuts for superannuitants, a married couple will now receive an extra $45.88 a fortnight, and a single person living alone will receive an extra $23.84 a fortnight.


"Older Pacific people will welcome an increase in their superannuation payments and new concessions for SuperGold Card holders, including free off-peak travel on public transport and an increase in the subsidy for hearing aids from $198 to $500 per hearing aid.


"Free off-peak travel will give our SuperGold Card holders greater mobility and better access to goods, services, and activities in their local community. It is fitting that today is International Day of Older Persons, as October 1 brings great benefits to our older people.


"Our Labour-led government is delivering responsible tax cuts that are fair and affordable, while keeping up investment in better public services. I am proud to be part of a government that can be trusted with the future wellbeing of our Pacific peoples," said Laban.