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SHORE MATTERS with Maggie Barry

John Key’s working for North Shore

Campaigning over the past few months and answering questions about National’s policies and achievements, I've been reminded just how much progress New Zealand has made under the leadership of Prime Minister John Key.

The most important fundamental was getting the economy back on track and, with growth at 3.8%, we are now ahead of Australia and the envy of other OECD countries. We did what we said we'd do and, thanks to our Finance Minister Bill English, the country's books are back in black with a modest surplus. But it’s still a fragile recovery and if Labour, Greens and Kim Dotcom were in charge, and funded their big spending promises, estimated to be somewhere north of $30 billion, the economy would go swiftly backwards into the red indebtedness cycle all over again. Their answer to funding their expensive election bribes is to burden us all with more taxes at a crippling 40 cents in the dollar and a Capital Gains Tax, which would include every business and farm. Look at how expensive housing is in Australia and the UK where their Capital Gains Tax certainly hasn't brought house prices down and is now being phased in to include family homes. 

In the past five years under National, we've built a stronger economy and business confidence is at a 20 year high. There were 84,000 new jobs created in the past year and we've been able to get unemployment down to 5.6% and we're targeting 4.4% by 2018. An effective long term solution to poverty is for people to upskill and get a job and we are now moving in the right direction with 1,600 people each week going off welfare and into work and 20,000 taking up apprenticeships.

The record $15.4 billion for health is making a difference where it matters and free doctors’ visits and prescriptions for all children under 13 is a good example. North Shore Hospital has been transformed into one of the very best performing in the country and the long overdue, and much-needed, investment of more than $288 million of new funding into our local health services has resulted in new facilities for surgical, renal and cardio care and a new fit-for-purpose $25 million mental health unit. There are now an extra 165 doctors and 376 nurses, and 2,502 more elective surgeries, such as knee, hip and cataracts, are performed each year at North Shore hospital, where 94.7% of A&E patients are in and out within six hours. 

I’ve seen first-hand what a difference the superannuation increases have made to people’s lives. From April 2008 to April this year all rates of Super have increased by 28%, with couples on the married rate getting an extra $249 in the hand, and the single rate is up by $162 a fortnight. 

I've now visited more than two dozen aged care facilities around the country and, recently here in my own electorate, I've been asked about improving the low pay rates of the hardworking caregivers and that's one of the issues addressed by the $40 million funding boost. By increasing rest home bed subsidies by 5%, around an extra $10 million a year, we expect providers will choose to use that money to increase staff wages. 

Sometime before Election Day, I'd ask you to put aside the noisy distractions from increasingly desperate opposition parties and just have a careful look at how much better off we are under a government that has a plan and a track record and an ambition to deliver on its vision for our country.

If you approve of the gains achieved under National then it’s a clear choice on September 20th. As your North Shore representative in Team John Key we'd really appreciate your support to continue to work hard for New Zealand for another three years. There's no room for complacency in this vital election as it’s going to be a very close race, and we are not taking your vote for granted. There's only one way to ensure John Key is still the Prime Minister of a National-led Government on September 20th and that's two ticks for National - please give your Party Vote to National. 

Authorised by Maggie Barry, MP for North Shore, 15 Anzac St, Takapuna.
For more information phone my campaign office on 09 4893529 or 0276562770. Keep up to date with Maggie on Facebook www.facebook.com/maggiebarrynz; website: www.maggiebarry.co.nz; Twitter: @maggiebarrynz 

by Maggie Barry

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