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Labour Punishes Taxpayers ? Again

Labour Punishes Taxpayers ? Again

Prime Minister Helen Clark's announcement, that the Government will phase out asset testing for the elderly, raises questions about Labour's motives in Government - formulating wise policy, or buying votes, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"This plan raises serious concerns over the Government's priorities - which, experience has shown, have been to curry favour with its voter base at the expense of hard-working taxpayers," Dr Newman said.

"Under the current system, only those elderly citizens who are in true need of support receive it. With the removal of asset testing, even those who have a wealth of assets will be supported by hard-working taxpayers struggling to make ends meet.

"The new system means the taxpayer would be expected to support a retiree regardless of their situation - even if they own a $500,000 home. This situation is completely unfair, especially given Household Economic Survey figures showing that only 66 percent of working aged New Zealanders own their own homes - compared with 88 percent of those of retirement age.

"Why should hard-working families, who cannot even afford their own home, be expected to fork out for others who do? Asset testing means that those who can support themselves do, while those who truly need support receive it. By scrapping asset testing, Labour will punish taxpayers yet again.

"The removal of asset testing for the elderly is a naked attempt by Labour to secure its elderly voter base. It is an unfair, unwarranted policy. Labour is putting its objective, to stay in power, above the needs of working families," Dr Newman said.

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