The election campaign is in full swing and I am enjoying the opportunity to travel around the country talking to New Zealanders about the issues that matter.
Last week Finance Minister Bill English and I confirmed National’s plan to continue delivering a strong New Zealand economy.
A strong economy is good for New Zealand families and communities. An economy with more jobs and higher wages will provide opportunities for Kiwi families to get ahead.
A re-elected National Government will return to fiscal surplus this financial year and stay there so that we can pay down debt, reduce ACC levies, and start modestly reducing income taxes.
National has a simple economic plan for the next three years: 1. We will live within our means 2. We will start paying off debt and (3) We will keep generating jobs.
If we stick with our programme of responsible management we will see another 150,000 jobs created, unemployment fall, and the average wage rise to $62,000 by mid-2018.
One of the benefits of a strong economy with good surpluses is that we can invest more in the public services that families rely on like healthcare, education, and police.
National will provide free GP visits and prescriptions for children under 13. This is expected to benefit more than 400,000 primary school-aged children and means parents won’t be put off sending their children to a doctor because of the cost.
Learning & Earning
A good education is one of the greatest investments we can make in the future of New Zealand children.
That is why National will raise teaching quality by establishing new teaching and leadership roles and invest to keep the best teachers teaching in the classroom. National will support older New Zealanders by maintaining the married rate of New Zealand Superannuation at 66% of the average wage and keeping the age of eligibility at 65.
New Zealanders deserve to be safe in their own homes and in their communities. Under National, crime is at a 35-year low and we will work to bring it down ever lower. We will also take action to tackle gang crime and reduce the harm it causes to families and communities.
National’s strong financial management means these commitments are affordable and sustainable for future generations.
This election, voters have a choice. They can continue to support National and its clear plan that is working, or they can put it all at risk by changing course to who knows what direction.
If National has the privilege of being re-elected, we will continue to provide strong, stable Government that is working hard for New Zealand.