Supporting our senior New Zealanders

National has always had senior citizens’ welfare at the heart of its policies.

If you are aged 65 plus and registered on the electoral roll for Port Waikato, you should have received an invitation from me in the mail this year to attend one of my Seniors’ Afternoon Teas.

These events are free and open to everyone within that ‘senior’ age demographic regardless of their political persuasion. They are held in Pukekohe, Waiuku, Tuakau and Te Kauwhata, plus at two of our larger retirement villages.

They are not speech-making opportunities for me. They are open mic and an opportunity for anyone to ask a question about the political issues that are important to them. Some people come prepared with lists of questions; others are quite content to sit back and listen.

We have had some wonderful meetings this year, all of them very well attended (over 130 at the second Pukekohe event), with a vast range of questions. It is very obvious that being of a senior age does not preclude someone from having an avid interest in our economy, the state of our health system, the falling achievement standards of students, the poor condition of our roads, the long wait for suitable state housing for those living with disabilities. The list goes on and on.

Now Election 2023 is nearly here and senior New Zealanders have some choices to make about the political direction of our country, and how different parties’ policies will affect their lives.

National has always had senior citizens’ welfare at the heart of its policies. How we manage the economy is key to ensuring the welfare of retired people. The cost of living must be affordable to seniors, especially when their days of earning a living from wages or a salary are over.

National is focused on getting inflation down and lowering the cost of living. We have committed to allowing all New Zealanders to retain more of what they earn, including those on superannuation.

We will achieve this by changing tax thresholds at which people pay higher rates of tax. This will give all seniors more money in their pockets. We also pledge to retain the winter energy payment and the benefits of the Gold Card.

You may have heard that National intends to raise the age of entitlement to superannuation, and this is because our population is ageing. Adjustments will begin in 2044, so if you were born before 1979, this will not affect you.

National also understands that a great many people who own investment properties do so for the purpose of providing for their retirement. We will restore interest deductibility and reduce the brightline test back to two years.

Our full Seniors’ policy will be released very soon.