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Government Set To Suffer A Major Defeat

Government Set To Suffer A Major Defeat

Monday 27th Nov 2000 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Health

Confirmation from the Greens that they will be supporting opposition amendments to Labour’s Health and Disability Bill means the coalition may suffer a major defeat on a cornerstone government policy.

“The ACT party has examined National’s proposed supplementary order papers and have indicated to National that we will also support their amendments. It is our understanding that New Zealand First will also vote in support, which will result in major sections of the bill being altered.

“Opposition to the bill is far more reaching than ill-considered Treaty clauses. Unamended the bill would be a massive upheaval of the health system. The bill itself proposes some very unpopular provisions such as the creation of twenty-one different hospital health bureaucracies. Health workers who originally supported Labour are now voicing serious reservations.

“Health is one of Labour’s seven key credit card commitments. If the bill is successfully amended by the opposition it will be an unprecedented defeat for a government. I am not aware of any other New Zealand government that has basically had a major piece of legislation rewritten by the opposition to take it in a completely different direction.

“Should the Greens stick with their stated intentions, I believe a no-confidence motion should be raised to establish whether or not the government enjoys the support of the House.

“There is no doubt that constitutionally Helen Clark should use this defeat as an opportunity to request an early election from the governor-general,” said Hon Richard Prebble.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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