The Māori Party has released a statement saying it is proud of the influence it has had in shaping Budget 2014 which they say looks after real families in everyday circumstances.
Māori Party Co-Leader, Tariana Turia says, “Our influence is evident in the solid steps towards improving the circumstances of whanau that emerge across a wide range of portfolios – specifically jobs and apprenticeships for young people; extending the eligibility of paid parental leave and increasing the parental tax credit for all families to benefit; and extending the age of eligibility for free doctors’ visits and prescriptions to all children under 13.”
$172 million will go towards extending paid parental leave:
This will introduce an additional four weeks to paid parental leave, starting with a two-week extension from 1 April 2015, and another two weeks from 1 April 2016. The initiative will extend the eligibility of paid parental leave to caregivers other than parents such as “Home for Life” caregivers.
It also plans to extend parental leave payments to people in less-regular jobs or who recently changed jobs. $42 million will be put towards increasing the parental tax credit from $150 a week to $220 a week and increase the payment period from eight to 10 weeks from 1 April 2015.
Dr Pita Sharples, MP for Tamaki Makaurau says, “The Māori Party is clear that our role is to retain and support initiatives that generations before us have put in place, while also advancing Māori development across new territories, new horizons, and new opportunities.”
Māori Party co-leader, Te Ururoa Flavell says,“We first entered into a Relationship Accord with the National Party in 2008 at the height of a global recession when times were tough, and whanau were hard hit. The last five years have been difficult for our communities, but we are proud that we have played a pivotal role in steering the nation through these tough times and upholding our kaupapa in ways that benefit all. Our view has always been that it does not matter who is in government, Maori need a voice at the table. Today’s budget shows exactly why that is.”