July 22, 2014
Maori Party claims credit for Labour-lite pension switch
The Maori Party is claiming credit for broadening the eligibility of more veterans to pensions.
A change to the War Pensions Act means it will be paid to all veterans, rather than just those who are considered significantly disabled.
Labour announced back in April it would change the Act if it was elected, but National said it was too expensive.
Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says the Maori Party has since negotiated with National on the issue.
The change will mean 25,300 former service people can get war veterans pensions, up from the current 6800.
The Veterans’ Pension will now be paid at the same rate as superannuation, and veterans will automatically get the Community Services Card without being income tested.
He says National needed the Maori Party’s support to pass the bill because Labour would not vote for it without an increase in the lump sum payment.
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