Today in politics: Friday, May 30

Last updated 05:00 30/05/2014

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Politics

Tax cuts may be on the cards for middle income earners - Bill English Jo Moir: Schools will look to parents' pockets after a freeze on school operational funding Budget 2016: Minister Paula Bennett and Labour's Annette King divided, but onside with tobacco tax Stacey Kirk: Remission but no cure, with a healthy Budget boost for ailing an health system Few surprises in English's eighth Budget as surpluses prime election war chest Budget 2016: Recap chat with Finance Minister Bill English Budget 2016: Who's going to pay for Government spending? Social Housing grant called short term strategy, offloading homeless to other regions Budget 2016: In their words Budget 2016: What Budget 2016 tells us about the next election

Peters wants pie cuts to 'parental reunion migrants'

Winston Peters has returned to his attacks on the superannuation payments to some elderly migrants.

Speaking at a Blenheim public meeting he said "the Super pie is not infinite – it cannot be an open resource for all and sundry to dine on".

One way to protect its current level would be to stop access by "parental reunion migrants" who qualify for the full pension after 10 years here.

"There are already over 68,000 such people," Peters said.

Mp turns to Twitter for question ideas

Green MP Julie Anne Genter turned to Twitter for inspiration yesterday, asking if her followers had any questions for Communications Minister Amy Adams at the commerce select committee.

She received a barrage of replies, including one from National’s Chris Tremain.

But they were not all friendly.

One blogger said she was paid well enough to come up with her own questions.

Genter replied that National backbench MPs were paid to ask ‘‘patsy’’ questions and ‘‘crowdsourcing can’t hurt’’.

Legal aid funding cut from the budget

Labour MPs have identified a $12 million black hole in legal aid funding.

From July 1, $7m will be cut from the budget for criminal cases and $5m from family and civil cases.

Justice Secretary Andrew Bridgman said underspending last year saw the money transferred to the Justice Sector Fund.

But in a move that seems to add red tape to the process they will apply to the fund for cash if demand for legal services increases, after a review in September.

Chinese Language Week launched in Havelock North

Xie xie (thank you) to Labour MP Raymond Huo for initiating the first Chinese Language Week.

The event was launched in Havelock North yesterday at this year’s New Zealand China Friendship Society 2014 conference.

Huo says there are growing number of people in New Zealand fluent in Mandarin and familiar with Chinese culture.

‘‘Chinese Language Week will play an important role in promoting cross-cultural understanding,’’ he says.

‘‘It will increase awareness of the Chinese language and culture and prepare future generations for increasingly important connections to Asia.’’

 



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